In 2008, Academy Award® winning filmmaker Alex Gibney set out to make a documentary about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to the world of competitive cycling. Widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in the history of sports, Armstrong had brought global attention to cycling as the man who had triumphed over cancer and went on to win bicycling’s greatest race, the Tour de France, a record seven consecutive times.
Charting Armstrong’s life-story (and given unprecedented access to both the Tour and the man), Gibney began filming what he initially envisioned as the ultimate comeback story — Armstrong’s return from his 2005 retirement and his attempt to win his eighth Tour. Indeed, more than just an athlete, Armstrong, through his inspiring personal narrative and charitable works, had come to embody nothing short of the possibilities of the human spirit itself. An unprecedented scandal, however, would rewrite both the Armstrong legend and Gibney’s film.