Temple: Injured War Veteran Says Armstrong Was An Inspiration, Despite The Scandal

By: Rachel Cox Email
By: Rachel Cox Email
A veteran injured in 2005 in Iraq says Lance Armstrong was an inspiration to him, despite the doping scandal that cost the Texas cyclist his seven Tour de France titles.

Nieves Rodriguez riding with Lance Armstrong in 2011. (Courtesy photo)

TEMPLE (January 18, 2013) ---A Temple war veteran injured seven years ago in Iraq says he hopes Lance Armstrong’s confession that he used performance-enhancing drugs won’t take away from the positive work he's done with cancer patients and survivors through the Livestrong Foundation he established.

Nieves Rodriguez was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2005 in Iraq after which doctors had to reattach his right arm and put a titanium rod in his right leg.

"When I was in the hospital I read Lance Armstrong's book and it changed my life, it was a big inspiration and I'd never been involved in cycling before my accident but I got a bike and started riding," Rodriguez said.

Doctors even told Rodriguez he might lose his arm and never walk normally again, but he proved them wrong on both counts.

Rodriguez worked with the staff at Sun Country Bicycles in Temple to made adjustments to a bike to help him ride more easily as he continued to recover from his injuries.

Today Rodriguez said he's now able to ride a normal bike, and he even rode with Armstrong in 2011 in the Livestrong Challenge in Austin.

Rodriguez said he watched the first part of Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey Thursday night and was disappointed, but that didn't stop him from wearing a Livestrong T-shirt to show his support on Friday.

"I don't agree with a lot of the things he did, but he's also done so much good with Livestrong I hope that isn't forgotten," Rodriguez said.

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