Let's Unravel the Rumors: Is Lance Armstrong Related to Neil Armstrong?

Lance Armstrong and Neil Armstrong are both well-known public figures, and many are curious to know: Are they related? Read on to find out.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Jun. 5 2023, Published 12:58 p.m. ET

Lance Armstrong and Neil Armstrong both sporting astronaut uniforms
Source: Fox / Getty Images

From the Skarsgårds to the Coppolas, there are plenty of well-known celebrity families. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that public figures who share a surname are often believed to be family.

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Two celebs assumed to be family are former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong and the late great astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was the first person to walk on the Moon — but wait, are they actually related?

NASA's Apollo 11 lunar landing mission members: (L-R) Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin Jr.
Source: Getty Images
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So, is Lance Armstrong related to Neil Armstrong?

Despite sharing a surname, no — Lance Armstrong is not related to Neil Armstrong.

For those unaware, Lance wasn't always an Armstrong; he was born Lance Edward Gunderson, the son of Linda (née Mooneyham) and Eddie Gunderson. His parents divorced in 1973, and his mother married Terry Armstrong two years later. Terry adopted Lance when he was about 3 years old.

Lance Armstrong cycling.
Source: Getty Images
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By age 15, however, Linda and Terry divorced — and Lance considered changing his surname again. However, per USA Today, the rider said it was too late because he was already establishing a brand. Armstrong is vital for his brand; not only does it evoke "images of muscle and power — a strong arm," but it also refers to Neil Armstrong.

"I was already establishing myself and my career and brand or whatever that means," he said, per the outlet. "I like the name Lance Armstrong. I think that's a good name. It's better than Lance Gunderson. That's kind of a weird name."

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Ariel Winter confuses Lance for Neil Armstrong in 'Stars on Mars.'

In a clip from Fox's reality series Stars on Mars, former Modern Family star Ariel Winter is a little confused about fellow celebrity contestant Lance Armstrong.

"Lance Armstrong is a real freaking astronaut. He is a real astronaut," she said, mixing up the former pro cyclist and the Apollo 11 commander. "He is Lance Armstrong. You need to Google him. You need to know everything about him because he is so cool." Um, we hope someone clears this up before it's too late!

New episodes of Stars on Mars air Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

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