For almost ten years, the name Lance Armstrong was synonymous with athletic perfection. The professional cyclist, and cancer survivor, was held up as the image of how far you could push your body, and how successful you could become in the world of sports. He had an incredible number of endorsement deals, and developed a sponsorship strategy that was similar to that used by race car teams. It meant that any team he was on was extremely well-funded. He established himself as an athlete to watch while still in high school, winning the National Sprint-Course Triathlon in 1989 and 1990, at the age of 16. He rose through the ranks in the racing world throughout the early 90s, becoming the first American to win a number of races. Then, in 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer had invaded his lungs and brain, as well, and he retired from cycling in order to undergo an intense round of treatment. He was able to return to cycling in 1998, and after his return, he was seemingly better than ever. Between 1999 and 2005, he won the Tour de France seven times. He retired again in 2005, then returned in 2009, and raced sporadically through 2011. Then all hell broke loose. It turned out that span from 1998 to 2005 when he was seemingly better than ever, was actually too good to be true. It was discovered that he'd been taking performance enhancing drugs, and he was stripped of all his titles, banned from cycling competition for the rest of his life, and ended up with a hefty number of fines and legal fees. What do you do when your entire life is falling apart around you? Apparently, retail therapy works, at least for disgraced athletes, because Mr. Armstrong just bought himself a massive new home.
Lance Armstrong's house sits on 3.6 acres of land overlooking Lake Austin in Austin, Texas. The eight-bedroom, eight-bath house, is spread out over 12,500 square feet, and has been put on the market, and taken off again, multiple times over the last three years. Lance Armstrong's house has five levels, and has a number of luxury features, including an art studio, an indoor sports court, a media room, and a private office. Outside of Lance Armstrong's house, there is an award-winning boathouse that is connected to the main structure by a 200-foot suspension bridge that was brought to the property by helicopter. Mr. Armstrong reportedly paid $4.34 million for home. It seems like an odd expenditure, but since this is his third real estate deal in the last year, it would seem that he has shifted his focus from turning wheels, to turning over property.