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Stynes, Armstrong might work together

Roger Vaughan 04/02/2011 04:45:25 PM Comments (0)

Jim Stynes notes that cancer has had opposite effects on himself and Lance Armstrong.

The two sports stars had plenty in common when they had a meeting in Adelaide last month during the Tour Down Under.

Their most obvious bond is Armstrong miraculously recovered from cancer to win a record seven Tours de France, while Stynes continues to fight the disease and had brain surgery late last month to remove another tumour.

But the AFL Brownlow Medallist said with a wry smile that while his ongoing health fight has forced him to slow down his lifestyle, it sent Armstrong off in the other direction.

"I was just fascinated by his work ethic and he basically said to me `I'm a workaholic, I just love working'," Stynes told AAP.

"He's a guy with five kids - it was good to just chat about life and how difficult it is, how he's moving onto a new phase of his life and he's not competing as much as he was.

"It was all worth it, it was really good.

"I've paid the price of being a workaholic and I was going to say `well, maybe you need ...' - well, he's already been there, done that, so he go there first and then he became a workaholic.

"I'm not sure how that works, normally it's the other way around."

After recovering from cancer, Armstrong set up the Livestrong foundation, which supports people suffering from the disease.

Stynes is well-known for establishing Reach, a foundation for young people, and the famous pair discussed the possibility of working together.

"It was just two people getting together who had a similar journey, we had things in common," Stynes said of the meeting.

"The thing we really connected with when we got there was the foundations.

"We just started about the possibility of maybe our young kids doing something to support what he's doing for people with cancer.

"We were looking at different ideas for the future."

Stynes became interested in cycling in the late `80s through an Irish friend, at the time when their compatriots Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche were kings of the sport.

"AFL footballers, people think we do a lot of training - we do nothing compared to what they do as cyclists," Stynes said.

Stynes had already read Armstrong's bestselling autobiography It's Not About The Bike when he was diagnosed with cancer.

"When I read it, it really had an impact and I thought `wow, what a guy'," Stynes said.

"I didn't know much about cancer, I wasn't connected to it, but as I soon as I found out I had cancer, the first book I ran to was Lance's.

"The learning curve was so steep, massively steep, so just being able to relate to a sporting person who had been through the gamut, it was reassuring, is probably the word.

"Also, he was able to get back and do things that most people wouldn't be able to do."

Stynes came away from January's meeting with an even greater regard for the Texan.

"You're sitting amongst greatness, it's a privileged feeling," Stynes said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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