Greg LeMond Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Recognized as the only American winner of the Tour de France, Greg LeMond has been awarded one of the highest civilian awards for service as an athlete, activist, role model and community leader.

“The Greg LeMond Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019-2020” was signed by President Donald Trump on Friday Dec 4, making LeMond only the tenth athlete ever to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, joining a prestigious group of American heroes including Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer.

LeMond was the first non-European to win the Tour de France in 1986, and then made a dramatic comeback with his legendary 1989 win following a long recovery from a hunting accident at a time when he was considering retirement.  He then went on to win the rainbow stripes, becoming only the fifth rider in history to win both the Tour and Worlds in the same year. He then went on to win his third Tour de France title the next year in 1990.

The bill to award LeMond one of the highest civilian honors in America was co-sponsored by Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Representative Mike Thompson (CA-05). 

In a statement, Rep. Thompson said, “Greg LeMond represents the best of American sportsmanship. “One of our greatest athletes, Greg is the only American to win the Tour de France—a feat he accomplished three times. Throughout his career, Greg repeatedly exemplified the principles of healthy competition, honesty, and selflessness, putting team success ahead of his own.”

Thomson continued, “He’s dedicated his life to serving and supporting children, veterans, medical research and other causes through his charitable work. I am proud to honor Greg with a Congressional Gold Medal so we can fully honor his lifetime of success, as both an athlete and community leader.”

“I am honored for this recognition, and thank Rep. Thompson and Sen. Cortez Masto for their efforts on my behalf,” responded LeMond. “It is my hope that my efforts to maintain integrity in sport will serve as an example to all athletes competing today.”

LeMond is an entrepreneur, innovator, father, survivor of tragic accidents, and perhaps above all he exudes a passion for cycling and the positive impact that bikes can have on health and mobility. More information on his new carbon fiber bike manufacturing venture can be found here.

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  1. Jeff vdD says

    Curious, I had to look up the other athletes. Three baseball players (Clemente, Robinson, and Larry Roby), three golfers (Nickaus, Palmer, and Bryon Nelson), one boxer (Lewis), one track star (Owens), one cyclist (Lemond), … and one team (the 1980 Olympic team for having the games taken from them by boycott.

    While there’s a lot of racial diversity on the list, it’s a shame that the only women included are by virtue of their having been on the Olympic team, and not named.

    Congress, you can do better (well, your probably can’t, but a good Congress could).

    Channeling Robot, what other US athletes should be on the list? Tom Brady, of course. Babe Didrikson Zaharias? Billy Jean King? Katie f’n Compton?

    1. tcfrog says

      I’d say Tiger Woods should be. On the women’s side, I’d tip my cap to Serena Williams, and personally I’d like to see the entire Women’s National Team for soccer and hockey for their absolute dominance of their respective sports. I’m not sure if the recipients are required to be retired or not, which would invalidate my entire list. I also think Cal Ripken Jr should be in there.

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