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Lance Edward Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson on September 18, 1971) is a retired American professional road racing cyclist. He is most famous for winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. These record-breaking feats were accomplished several years after brain and testicular surgery, and extensive chemotherapy in 1996, to treat testicular cancer that had metastasized to his brain and lungs. Armstrong’s domination at the event had prompted many Americans to nickname the race the “Tour de Lance”.
In 2002, Sports Illustrated magazine named him Sportsman of the Year. He was also named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, received ESPN ’s ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 2003. Armstrong retired from racing at the end of the 2005 Tour de France.
His athletic success and his dramatic recovery from cancer inspired Armstrong to commemorate his accomplishments in conjunction with Nike through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a charity founded in 1997. The now ubiquitous “Livestrong” yellow rubber wristbands first launched in 2004 netted the Foundation tens of millions of dollars in the fight against cancer and helped Armstrong become a major player in the nonprofit sector.