Kristin Armstrong set a new record on Wednesday as the only cyclist to win three consecutive gold medals in the Olympics for the same discipline. Her name often gets her confused with Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife, who is also named Kristin, but the two cyclists are not related or affiliated despite sharing the similar passion. Armstrong is an Olympic fan favorite for a number of reasons, so many are cheering her on in her victories.

Armstrong’s Inspiring Story

Armstrong is not a star in her daily life; she works a regular job at a hospital in Idaho, cares for her family, and trains when she gets a chance to ride her bicycle. She said it is this very balance that keeps her focused and on track. She also works with non-profit groups to further the causes of disease prevention programs.

She just turned 43 on Thursday, making her older than most competing Olympians. When asked about competing at her age, Kristin said “I think that for so long we’ve been told that we should be finished at a certain age. And I think that there’s a lot of athletes out there that are actually showing that that’s not true.” Kristin’s relatable story and the fact that she doesn’t have the shining endorsements that many of the other Olympians enjoy have made her something of an underdog, and of course the underdog always has the support of the fans.

Armstrong’s Win on Wednesday

On Wednesday, Armstrong’s win was another story of overcoming challenges to get the gold. The weather was the first challenge, with rain soaking the course and making it slippery and difficult to navigate. Armstrong’s own body was the second challenge, with a nosebleed occurring during the first half of the race and her hips seeming to hold up well in spite of the surgeries that she underwent in 2013. Her fierce Russian competitor Olga Zabelinskaya was her third challenge, pulling ahead of her at some points during the race.

In spite of adversity, Armstrong won the race with a time of 44 minutes, 26.42 seconds. After winning, she collapsed to the ground from exhaustion. Her five-year-old son was allowed to run to her and the two embraced as Armstrong cried tears of joy for her victory. Ever thinking about the fans, Armstrong said of her victory: “For all the moms out there, I hope that this was a very inspiring day.”

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