The U.S. House of Representatives passed bill H.R.3589 Thursday to award Greg LeMond, the only American to win the Tour de France (he won it 3 times), the Congressional Gold Medal.
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for a vote, then to President Donald J. Trump for signature. (UPDATE 12/1/2020 – The bill now sits on President Trump’s desk.)
This won’t be the first time LeMond and Trump have crossed cycling paths. Trump sponsored the 1989 USA Tour de Trump 10-day bike race that LeMond used to prepare for the Tour de France – which he won.
Representative Mike Thompson, from California’s 5th district, sponsored the bill and released the following statement.
“Greg LeMond is a world-renowned cyclist and one of the greatest American athletes in history,” Thompson said. “The only American to win the Tour de France, LeMond’s career has been marked by victory after victory, selfless support for his teammates, and incredible comebacks, all while maintaining the highest standards of healthy athletics and clean competition. His career embodied some of our most cherished values — selflessness, perseverance, excellence, and sportsmanship — and LeMond has spent his life supporting children and young people, ensuring many others can experience the joy of cycling. Today I’m proud the House passed my bill to honor Greg LeMond’s lifetime of success, both as a cyclist and a stellar member of our community.”
LeMond started racing bicycles in Northern California and Nevada as a pre-teenager. He won his first 10 races and earned the nickname “LeMonster,” quickly rising through the racing categories to become a European Pro at age 19.
The rest of his career, including two World Championships and the greatest sports comeback ever, is legendary cycling history.
The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the top honors a civilian can receive, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was created by the U.S. Congress in 1776 as the “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.”
George Washington got one. Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa too. Recent athlete recipients include Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Jesse Owens.
LeMond is still actively involve with cycling and sponsors the amateur Cyclosportive Châtel – Chablais – Léman Race on the French-Swiss boarder.
Read the full text of H.R.3589 – Greg LeMond Congressional Gold Medal Act here.
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR NORTH AMERICA here
GRAN FONDO CALENDAR EUROPE here