|Sports Illustrated magazine has selected the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team's Lance Armstrong, four-time winner of the Tour de France, as its Sportsman of the Year for 2002. Armstrong will be featured on the cover of the Dec. 16, 2002, magazine. |
A competitor for the title in recent years, Armstrong has lost out to sports greats Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson in 2001, Tiger Woods in 2000, and the U.S. Soccer Team in 1999. But 2002 was finally Armstrong's year. His fourth Tour victory took him past American cyclist Greg Lemond, who won the Tour three times in his career and received the Sports Illustrated honor in 1989.
Beyond his athletic accomplishments, the magazine recognizes the role Armstrong plays with those suffering from cancer in his selection for this honor.
In the cover story, reporter Rick Reilly writes, "Lance Armstrong is more than a bicyclist now, more than an athlete. He's become a kind of hope machine. About 300 pieces of mail find their way to him each week. They come from people who are suddenly pale-yellow versions of themselves, half gone from chemo, scared to die. They read his book, plug into his story, let him block the wind. They see a man who once sat around the same chemo rooms as theirs breaking tapes on the tops of Alps. He welcomes it. He wants to lead them. He calls it 'the obligation of the cured.' And every time he rides, he feels like they ride with him."
See more now at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/2002/sportsman/ and watch your newsstands for the Dec. 16 issue of Sports Illustrated.www.uspsprocycling.com
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