AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 9, 2012) - Today, the Lance Armstrong Foundation announced a new partnership with Ironman® to raise more than $1 million for people affected by cancer. Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, champion cyclist and the Foundation's founder and chairman, will compete as a professional athlete in several Ironman and Ironman 70.3® races this year including Ironman 70.3 Panama, Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas, Ironman 70.3 Florida, Ironman 70.3 Hawaii and Ironman France. Armstrong is racing with the goal of qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 13, 2012, and will be competing as a member of Team LIVESTRONG, which is adding these Ironman races to its endurance events series designed to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
"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® 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.
LIVESTRONG is the brand of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action. The Foundation specializes in patient navigation services that help cancer survivors and their families overcome the insurance, financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis. As a member of Team LIVESTRONG, people walk, run, ride or tri in the fight against cancer in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Series or in other major athletic events around the world. By participating and fundraising for Team LIVESTRONG, participants join a group of committed individuals dedicated to inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer. To date, Team LIVESTRONG participants have raised $82 million for Foundation programs and services. For more information, visit TeamLIVESTRONG.org.
About World Triathlon Corporation
World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a Tampa-based company recognized for athletic excellence, distinguished events and quality products. The WTC portfolio includes Ironman, Ironman 70.3, 5150 Triathlon Series, Iron Girl and IronKids, which have a combined total of more than 180 events worldwide each year. Supported by partners including Timex, PowerBar, K-Swiss and TYR, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world and has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception in 1978. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About LIVESTRONG/Lance Armstrong Foundation
LIVESTRONG serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. Created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the organization is now known publicly by its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. Originating with the iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world. Since its inception, the organization has raised $450 million for the fight against cancer. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.