Wednesday, August 10, 2016

U.S. rider Armstrong captures third straight gold medal

Kristin Armstrong gave herself a nice early birthday gift as she warded off the rainy weather to complete a three-peat in the cycling individual time trial at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Armstrong, of no relation to Lance Armstrong, overcame a late push by Russia's Olga Zabelinskaya to earn gold with a time of 44.26.42.
Armstrong turns 43 on Thursday and was the final cyclist to take off and the oldest competitor in the race.
With her third consecutive victory, she is now the oldest female Olympic cycling champion.
Armstrong retired after winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics but earlier this year decided to make a comeback.But it wasn't a smooth ride for her to reach the Summer Games. Last month, an arbitration hearing called by U.S. time trials champion Carmen Small debated whether Armstrong was unfairly selected. It was eventually decided -- a week prior to heading to Rio de Janeiro -- that Armstrong's spot was secured.

It turns out teammate Mara Abbott was a major source of inspiration.
"The last 24 hours, Mara's been leaving me notes," Armstrong told USA Today after taking gold. "I found one in my coffee cup yesterday. ... I went to brush my hair, I found another one on my brush. Last night I went to bed, and there was another one on my pillow. And this morning, on my podium bag, there was another one. ... I thought, I have to give it everything for my team. I have to give it everything for Mara."
Armstrong now has the fifth most medals in female cycling history. Afterwards, 14-time MLB All-Star Barry Bonds, whom Armstrong considers an adviser, praised her for the accomplishment.