The untold truth of Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife

In 1998, before he was a seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong married Kristin Richard. When they first met in 1997, Kristin was working at an advertising and public relations firm in Texas. Meanwhile, Lance was battling testicular cancer.

“He had just finished up his chemotherapy,” she told Oprah in 2006. “He was bald and cute, and it was a business relationship at first that evolved into a friendship.” It was a friendship, of course, that turned into a romance. After they tied the knot, Kristin took her then-husband’s last name. She also quit her job, moved out of her home, and sold her car in order to move to France with Lance so he “could reenter the world of professional cycling,” she wrote in a 2006 piece she penned for Glamour.

During their marriage, the couple had three children together: a son, Luke, and twin daughters, Grace and Isabelle. According to People, Lance and Kristin divorced in 2003, a shocker of a split for a couple who seemingly built a perfect life together.

While Lance Armstrong’s life has played out on the world stage — his 2013 doping admission cost him all seven of his Tour de France titles — Kristin’s life has been more under-the-radar. Read on to find out the details of her story.

Kristin Armstrong wrote a book about her experience with divorce

Kristin Armstrong has long been open about her divorce from Lance Armstrong. In 2006, she wrote an article for Glamour magazine titled “Kristin Armstrong on Marriage,” in which she discussed feeling like she became a person she didn’t recognize — someone different from who she was when she first met Lance. 

In the piece, she wrote: “Here is the truth as I see it: Marriage has the potential to erode the very fiber of your identity.” She continued, “If you aren’t careful, it can tempt you to become a “yes woman” for the sake of salvaging your romantic dream.”

She expounded upon that thought during a 2006 interview with Oprah (via People), explaining, “It wasn’t Lance saying, ‘You should be like this’ or ‘Do this.’ It wasn’t him making a mandate and me being a mouse.” She added,”It was me trying to emulate whatever I thought would be the perfect wife or the perfect mother.”

Kristin also revealed that her faith helped get her through the divorce. She ended up authoring a daily devotional called Happily Ever After: Walking with Peace and Courage Through a Year of Divorce to help others through the process. “Kristin began her recovery from divorce to professional cyclist Lance Armstrong with a ring of 3 x 5 note cards,” per the Amazon description for the book. “Each one held a hand-selected passage of scripture that helped her cope and survive that stage of her life.”

Kristin Armstrong is a marathon runner who writes about her passion

If you read any of Kristin Armstrong’s powerful pieces on Runner’s World (at one point, she was a contributing editor for the site) you’ll gain a load of insight into her journey and identity as an athlete, and, specifically, as a runner. In her column, Kristin detailed everything from her trials and challenges as a runner to running the Boston Marathon to going for a heartfelt jog with her daughter on Mother’s Day.

“Running is more than a sport or a form of exercise, a passion or a pastime. It’s about identity,” Kristin wrote in a piece called “Mile Markers: Here’s the Difference Between Running and Being a Runner.”

As of this writing, Kristin’s written six books, per her Runner’s World biography, including her divorce devotional. In relation to running, specifically, she penned Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, in which she focuses on how the sport is a microcosm of momentous life changes.

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