Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said he is confident newly elected US president Barack Obama will respond positively to pleas on cancer issues.
Cancer survivor Armstrong has launched his comeback from retirement at the Tour Down Under where he is also pushing national politicians, as part of a much publicised global campaign, to do more to fight help fight the disease.
AdvertisementSo far, Armstrong says he has been "honoured" with the response.
After wooing regional officials and cancer specialists Monday, he spent time at his hotel with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Tuesday after the first stage of the race.
Armstrong said Rudd had given him assurances that the Australian government would be represented, either through Rudd or the country's health minister, at a global summit on cancer at the end of the year.
Armstrong said: "We shared both our experiences of the disease, me on a personal level, and he lost his mother to the disease.
"It's an an honour as a cyclist to have him (Rudd) at the race. I'm humbled and ecstatic he has committed this country to fighting this disease."
Armstrong, who battled cancer between 1996 and 1998, revealed last week he had asked, but was not given, former US president George W. Bush for a billion dollars to help fight the disease.
He hopes that continuing the "positive" dialogue he has had with Obama in their meetings will boost his campaign to raise awareness and help fight the disease.
"In my three or four meetings with him (Obama) he's been delightful, smart, present, and he's given me hope. I know he lost his mother to cancer, and his grandmother to cancer," added Armstrong.
"For the US and the world, this is a monumental moment. He brings a kind of hope and optimism not only to the US, but around the world.
"I'm very optimistic as an American, and as a cancer survivor."
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