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“This is the most amazing day of my life,” Armstrong said.
Battling a headwind, she forged ahead to overtake pacesetter Emma Pooley of Britain to cross the finish line in 34 minutes and 51 seconds — nearly 25 seconds ahead of Pooley. Karin Thurig of Switzerland won the bronze medal.
Armstrong placed eighth in the road race in her Olympic debut in Athens in 2004, but did not compete in the time trials. In 2005, she won the bronze medal. In 2006, she became the third American in history to earn a world championship in the elite women’s time trial. She went on to win the silver medal in 2007 and, ultimately, the gold in 2008.
Armstrong was born into a military family in 1973 and grew up in Tennessee, California, Japan and Idaho — where she now resides. She graduated from the University of Idaho College of Education in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in sports physiology.
She became a junior Olympian in swimming when she was 17 and excelled as a runner and triathlete until she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her hips in 2001, forcing her to switch gears to cycling. Within a short time she became a world champion, Olympian and one of the most accomplished American cyclists ever.
For years, Armstrong has been one of America’s favorite athletes. She’s been featured in national newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, USA Today, Idaho Statesman, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Shape, Bicycling, Velo News and Road. More than 500 articles highlight her accomplishments every year. She’s even been featured on the front of a Wheaties cereal box.
To train for the Olympics in Beijing, Armstrong captured the cycle route on her GPS while there last year. She then recreated a similar course in the Boise area that was equally hilly and of the same distance. Her training regime paid off for the time trial. Although she finished 25th in the women’s road race on Monday amidst torrential rain and a minor crash delay, she was America’s gold medal hopeful for the time trial.
Kristin's high expectations led her to achieve the top spot on the podium in Beijing. And her passion and dedication will continue to make her a global citizen with a legacy of leading.