Floyd Landis has amazed everyone by winning the Tour de France despite suffering from osteonecrosis of the hip. Landis sustained a femoral neck fracture of the hip during a car accident in 2003. This kind of fracture often leads to osteonecrosis (also called avascular necrosis) because the blood supply is cut off from the hip joint. If the blood can't get through, the result is osteonecrosis or "bone death" and eventual collapse of the joint.
Landis didn't make his osteonecrosis public until halfway through the Tour de France. He plans to undergo hip replacement surgery in California next month.
"It's really sad," Landis said, "if [my cycling career] is over now. This is what I've been doing a long time. But I can say that, having won the Tour, I'm a little more calm about it, for some reason. As long as there aren't any complications in surgery, I think by next spring, I'll be back racing, though probably not at this fitness level."
Landis says he's been "kind of racing every race like it's the last one" because of his osteonecrosis. If only we could all live each day like that.