RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Kristin Armstrong had just put together another golden effort in an Olympic time trial, this time slicing through driving wind and rain, when her 5-year-old son approached her at the finish.
"Mama," Lucas asked, "why are you crying? You won!"
The American cyclist, one day shy of her 43rd birthday, made it three consecutive time-trial gold medals Wednesday, conquering a brutal course in the rain. Her time of 44 minutes, 26.42 seconds topped reigning bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia by 5.55 seconds.
As for the tears, "that's a great question from a 5-year-old," Armstrong said. "That's what we do, we cry when we're happy. I'm going to have to explain that one to him a little later."
Zabelinskaya earned silver just days after she was cleared to compete by the Court of Arbitration in a doping case. Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen added bronze to her gold from the road race.
Armstrong (no relation to Lance) became the first Olympic cyclist to win the same event three times and the first female Olympic cyclist to win gold at three Games. She is the oldest female Olympic cycling champion, breaking her record of 38-356 set in 2012. And she joined speed skater Bonnie Blair as the only American women to win three gold medals in the same event at any Olympics.