Lance Armstrong has officially jumped into Ironman racing with both feet this year as he plans to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona by racing at least four 70.3 and one full Ironman race in 2012 as a professional triathlete.
The Seven Tour de France Champion is using this opportunity to partner with Ironman to try to raise $1 million for his cancer foundation. You can read all of the details in the press release below.
"I am grateful to Ironman for partnering with LIVESTRONG to raise funds and awareness for people affected by cancer," said Armstrong. "In my career as an athlete and as a cancer advocate, I've learned that progress demands partnership, but it's not without a struggle. And that's what Team LIVESTRONG is about -- it's about purpose, it's about challenge and it's about empowering survivors to fight like hell. There's progress to be made with cancer and we invite anyone up for the challenge to join Team LIVESTRONG."
"At 13 years old, Lance got his start in triathlon by racing in the IronKids(R) Series," said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of World Triathlon Corporation. "At 16 years old, he went pro and was considered a star in our sport. At only 18, he was racing against the best triathletes in the world: Mark Allen, Dave Scott and Scott Molina. We are happy to have him return to our sport. Lance is a fierce competitor and his involvement with Ironman and 70.3 is good for triathlon."
"Lance's involvement at perhaps the toughest one-day event in all of sport sheds light on what surviving cancer can mean to millions around the world," said Scott Tinley, two-time Ironman World Champion and Ironman Hall of Fame Inductee. "I remember Lance as a determined kid who channeled that competitive spirit into an amazing career as a cyclist, survivor and advocate for survivors of a horrible disease. A partnership between LIVESTRONG and Ironman will further improve the lives of people affected by cancer. People need to realize that Lance's foundation represents the use of sport to improve our world. There are only positive things that can come from having Lance join the Ironman family."
"Lance is an exceptional athlete; he's the type of person who wants to excel and be the best at whatever he puts his mind to," said Chris Lieto, multiple Ironman and Ironman 70.3 champion. "I'm excited to see how his participation in our sport will draw attention to what it takes to be a triathlete and how challenging it can be. It will definitely bring triathlon more into the mainstream and I know pro athletes, including myself, will look forward to racing with him in future events."
"It is exciting to see Lance Armstrong, one of the greatest-ever endurance athletes, coming back to race triathlons in 2012," said Craig Alexander, three-time Ironman World Champion and two-time Ironman 70.3 World Champion.
Through this partnership, Ironman will serve as a gold-level sponsor for the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Series. As a sponsor, Ironman will provide 1,000 entries to the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events at which Lance will compete, as well as donate four Ironman World Championship slots in 2012 and 2013 to be auctioned with proceeds going directly to LIVESTRONG.
Team LIVESTRONG has a limited number of entries for these events and people interested in joining Armstrong should visit www.TeamLIVESTRONG.org for more information. Athletes who are already registered for one of these Ironman or Ironman 70.3 events can still race as part of Team LIVESTRONG. General entry is also still available for each of these events and can be accessed at www.ironman.com .