Idaho cyclist Kristin Armstrong won a gold medal Wednesday in the individual time trial in London. The 18-mile course is a race against the clock and this event is Armstrong’s specialty. She says now she's retiring. "No more competitive cycling for me," she explained in a text message from London. "This has been a challenging yet rewarding experience."
The Boise native won the time trial four years ago at the Beijing Olympics. After Beijing she took time off to have her son Lucas who’s now nearly two. Before going to London, Armstrong said that winning another gold "knowing that I'm a mom, that'd be cool."
Wednesday after the medal ceremony, Armstrong stood on the podium with her son in her arms – a gold medal around her neck. In a text message, she called the gold medal the "pinnacle of sport."
But this second win is different. "This one is so special because I was able to come back from after having Lucas 22 months ago," Armstrong said. "And to share the experience with Lucas on the podium, amazing."
"I’m that person that's just down to earth that never thought I had a chance at a college scholarship, or for sure an Olympic gold medal," Armstrong said in an earlier interview with Boise State Public Radio. "I just want everyone to know that I’m that approachable down to earth person that if you set your sights and goals high, you too can achieve what you want.”
Armstrong won by nearly 16 seconds over German rider Judith Arndt who took silver. It took the Boise native just over 37 minutes to complete the course. Armstrong's day has been busy with an interview on NBC and a party hosted by USA Cycling.
Back home, the city of Boise is planning a community wide event to celebrate Armstrong’s win. It’s set for her 39th birthday on August 11th.
Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Rische also honored Armstrong Wednesday before the U.S. Senate. The following was submitted into the Congressional Record:
Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, my colleague Senator Jim Risch joins me today in congratulating fellow Idahoan, Kristin Armstrong, who won her second consecutive gold medal in the Olympic cycling time trial. Kristin’s perseverance and drive are an inspiration.
In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Kristin, who is a Boise resident and graduate of the University of Idaho, took home the gold. She returned to racing in 2011 after a retirement to give birth to her son, Lucas.
Throughout her racing career, Kristin has demonstrated remarkable dedication and strength. Despite breaking her collarbone in the Exergy Tour in Idaho two months ago and sustaining minor injuries from a crash just a few days before her London win, Kristin did not let these difficulties hold her back. She surpassed many skillful competitors to once again achieve the gold medal while also becoming the oldest champion in a road cycling event. Kristin’s time of 37 minutes and 34.82 seconds for the 18-mile course was more than 15 seconds faster than the silver medalist. These are considerable accomplishments.
We join the many Idahoans and Americans who applaud Kristin’s commitment and excellence. We also commend Kristin’s friends and loved ones, including her husband, Joe Savola, and son, Lucas William Savola, who have supported Kristin. Kristin is truly a gifted athlete with immense abilities and talents. Her capacity to push forward beyond the challenges provides encouragement to all of us, and we congratulate her on this, and her many, extraordinary achievements.
Many of you tweeted congratulations and photos and we've gathered some of your comments in the Storify below.
Originally published August 1