Wednesday morning while most people back home were still sleeping, Boise’s Kristin Armstrong was on a bike in Brazil trying to win a gold medal in her third consecutive Olympics. She succeeded.
Armstrong became just the second American woman to win the same event at three Olympics in a row. And she now owns all but two of the road-cycling golds ever awarded to the U.S.
Armstrong is a hero to many in Idaho, so it can be hard for us to view her objectively. With that said, KBSX got an outside expert to assess her accomplishment.
“It’s a huge deal not just for cycling but for Olympic sports in general,” says Fred Dreier, executive editor of Velonews, a publication about professional cycling.
When Dreier covered Armstrong’s victory eight years ago at the Beijing Olympics, he thought he was writing about an athlete at the end of her career.
“And so the story line there was really about Kristin Armstrong finding a way to cap off her career with success,” Dreier says. “The fact that she came back and did it again in London and now has done it again in Rio is … I mean, that’s a great story. That’s extremely noteworthy.”
Dreier says Armstrong is one of the best cyclists in the world. And that she’s secured a place in Olympic history. But he says how she did it is remarkable.
“The fact that Kristin did this after retiring twice and during multiple hip injuries, having a child and having to come back to the sport on a couple different occasions, I think, that’s really what makes this noteworthy,” Dreier says.
Armstrong retired after Beijing and then again four years ago. She announced in just April of last year that she was again coming out of retirement.
Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam
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