When cyclist Kristin Armstrong of Boise, Idaho, was chosen for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, instead of being showered with congratulations, she was beset with criticism. Even though she was a three-time Olympian and two-time gold medalist, critics said her 2015 return from a three-year retirement was too short and unimpressive. And, they said, at 42 she was too old.

Armstrong silenced those critics Wednesday by taking the gold medal in the 18.5-mile Olympic time trial in Rio de Janeiro, adding the Rio gold medal to her golds from London and Beijing and becoming the oldest woman to win an Olympic cycling gold medal — just a day before her 43rd birthday.

And she beat the silver medalist, 36-year-old Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia, by 5.55 seconds in the event where each competitor simply races against the clock. On this day, they were also fighting against the rain. Armstrong, no relation to the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, dealt with a mid-race nosebleed, too.

After the race, according to The Washington Post, Armstrong spoke about refusing to let others put limitations on her: “I have always loved that we were all born with the power to believe and to believe in ourselves. … You can set a goal and you can go accomplish anything you want. It doesn’t matter your age; it doesn’t matter where you’re from. I think that for so long we’ve been told you should be finished at a certain age. And I think there’s a lot of athletes out there that are actually showing that’s not true.”

Well said, Kristin. And congratulations.

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