Farmer, Bee Keeper, and Olympic Mountain Biker, Georgia Gould Primed for London Olympics

Today's Denver Post featured a great story about Olympic mountain biker Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould is a farmer at heart, and her backyard is like a small farm. She has chickens, honey bees and a vegetable garden. Gould, 32, is preparing for her second Olympiad. She placed eighth in mountain biking in Beijing in 2008 but is a strong candidate to medal this time...

This adopted Coloradan from Baltimore via Sun Valley, Idaho, is into the environment and into another Colorado endeavor. Gould is Colorado's queen bee of mountain biking. Change that. She's the queen bee for the United States, which she will represent for the second straight Olympics next month in London.

Read more at the DenverPost

Georgia Gould Interview on Mountain Bike Radio recently
- Georgia's Interview

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45 Comments

To get the snark out: I'm

To get the snark out: I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that Georgia could give a toss less if some sexist douche is a supporter or not.

The ROI/sponsorship horse gets trotted out every damn time you see this debate, and honestly it's more like dragging out a dead rotting corpse of a horse and kicking it again. I think anyone honest in the cycing sponsorship business would tell you it's very difficult to draw direct corelations for any kind of sponsor ROI, especially in how much profit sponsors make *directly* from giving money to cycling teams, male or female. if they just wanted to maximize ROI, Garmin would drop cycling and hit the NFL, NBA or NBL.

Finally, I'm not sure she's talking about overall income, but the UCI-mandated payouts for race placings and UCI-mandated rider salary minimums. That's been unequal for years between men and women. Bonuses, which are more likely where you'll see sponsors get involved, are different.

Instead of name calling, why

Instead of name calling, why not address the argument?

For the record, I have promoted three races (albeit fairly small races) and I paid equal prize money to the elite men and elite women each time. Hardly the actions of a sexist douche.

I would absolutely agree at the lower amateur levels, there is no measurable ROI for virtually any sponsorship. But, you can bet that at the level of sponsorship involved at the elite/pro level of the sport, there damn sure is measurable ROI or they wouldn't pony up the $$$. Companies don't just throw away hundreds of thousands of limited marketing dollars without a very strong expectation for a return.

The tired old horse in this debate is the debate itself. If you don't understand the impact of measurable ROI on sponsorship and by extension, salaries, of top men and women cyclists, maybe economics isn't your strong suit.

Good on you for the equal

Good on you for the equal payouts, and my apologies for the name calling/snark. I still say that if you're telling Georgia that she needs to understand here place and keep quiet about unequal pay or risk losing support, yours or otherwise, that's sexist on some levels, independent of your other actions. If you disagree, that's cool too.

Low level ROI, agreed. However, even at the high levels, ROI is nebulous at best in most cases. There's no easy way to [b]concretely translate sponsorship exposure to sponsor profits[/b]. How many more Edge units does Garmin sell because Farrar wins a stage? Undoubtedly Vaughters has someone who can make an educated guess, but I suspect it's still just that, a guess. That's why I say it's a poor basis for the argument, because ROI is far from certain for any particular athlete, or at best, it's a [b]subjective[/b] measure of value, not anywhere near as concrete or absolute as it's being portrayed here. If I recall, Vaughters or someone close wrote a piece a few years back echoing that a lot of the struggle in maintaining sponsorship year in and out was pleading your case to the sponsor, explaining how TV exposure means money to sponsors, because the team can't directly connect the dots for them.

I think my grasp of economics is solid enough to understand this debate, thanks. My issue is that masking pseudo science (measureable, yes, valid, maybe) as hard fact and justification for this is misguided and wrong. Do you think the idea that your wife, daughter, etc. makes less than a man does simply because she's a woman is good? Because no matter how you justify it, that's what this comes down to.

And again, I think she refers in part to the UCI salaries that are mandated, not things like bonuses and so forth.

Finally, sorry for the name calling.

I agree with practically

I agree with practically everything you said, however... the "equal money" we're talking about has to come from somewhere. If team owners can't raise equal sponsorship $$ for a women's team and race promotors (BIG races, not local stuff) can't sell equal commercial air time for women's races, where is the money to come from? My earlier point was that if women's racing can't drive the same sort of revenue generation as men's races, the women do not deserve equal pay. Just like a salesman who can't generate profits like the next guy doesn't make the same salary, no matter how hard he works.

Well, a couple of finer

Well, a couple of finer points perhaps. I might agree that "pay for performance" *could* be a valid model, if everyone involved starts from the same spot. This isn't the case with women's racing. Men's cycling has had decades more to develop compared to women's cycling, in part because of long standing social biases against females in general, and females in competitive sport particularly. In part, it's that gap that Georgia and others are trying to close down.

Next point, and I may be mistaken here, but I think the pay discussion is centered around the UCI regulated payments, and not more closely sponsorship related payments like say, performance bonuses. I don't think she's saying she should be paid at the same rate as say, Lance, but rather that salaries should be closer.

This get to a bit of a chicken-and-egg question, as you can get lost in whether or not revenues should increase before pay, or if increasing pay (and theoretically improving women's racing by attracting more talent) would increase revenues. Probably a separate topic unto itself.

completely agree...

it doesn't matter one lick how hard you train.

there are cat 5 cyclists who train harder than georgia but they simply are not that talented so they don't get paid.

i imagine there are cyclists who train a lot less and maybe make more.

you don't get paid by how hard you work but how much you produce.

Seriously...

A professional baseball player plays 161 games.

Those games are 3+ hrs.

My guess is a professional baseball player trains/works on their craft 35+ hrs a week when you consider reviewing scouting/batting practice/fielding/strength training/conditioning.

Georgia might be in better shape than a lot of baseball players but i doubt she or any other cyclist is doing more than professional baseball players.

REALLY

Weary of people complaining about pay, like a school teacher whining about $ (I am one) you knew the pay when you took the job, or NBA player feeling like the owners are ripping them off, take your services and make $ doing something else, free country, she knew the monetary pay of the profession she was getting in, if she didn't, well, silly her

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