Georgia Gould sets sights on Third Olympics

georgia_0Here is a fascinating in-depth article about Georgia Gould, Fort Collins resident (because she’s “too dorky” for Boulder), “lazy” beekeeper, and world renown mountain biker, as she readies to secure one of four U.S. Olympic team spots.

From Denver Post

Originally from Baltimore, Gould got a psychology degree from the University of Montana in 2003. A former smoker, she quit the habit and began a running-based fitness program before discovering she had ability in mountain biking. In 2006 she turned pro, won the first of her four U.S. titles and moved to Colorado from Sun Valley, Idaho, preferring to train in a place with a more temperate climate. First she went to Boulder, a city brimming with elite endurance athletes.

“I just wasn’t cool enough to live in Boulder,” Gould joked. “I lived there for a few months and I was like, ‘I’m too dorky to live here.’ Fort Collins is a little bit more my style.”

She dominated U.S. mountain biking, finishing eighth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, capturing bronze at the 2012 London Games and taking bronze again at the world championships three weeks later.

Two difficult years followed. In February 2013, the cyclo-cross world championships would be held in the U.S. for the first time, and she really wanted to be on that team, so she didn’t give herself enough of a break to recover from the rigors of 2012.

At cyclo-cross worlds, she was knocked down in a chain-reaction crash and finished 17th. She left there physically and mentally drained and took three weeks off, thinking that would be enough of a break. It wasn’t. In mountain-biking World Cups that spring, she failed to crack the top 20.

“I was like, ‘I thought I had cemented my place at the top, what’s going on?’ ” Gould said. “Everything was going well in training, I’d get to the race and it would be so hard. I didn’t know what was wrong. Like, ‘Did it always feel this hard? Am I just not as tough as I used to be?’ ”

She finished sixth in the U.S. championships that July and 27th at the world championships in August. Wondering if a physical problem was causing her struggles, she had blood work done.

“They were like, ‘Bad news, you’re totally healthy.’ ”

Another tough season followed in 2014. After a race early that season, she decided to quit the sport, tired of being passed by women she thought she should be beating.

“Aside from physically giving up the race, I totally gave up,” Gould said. “I came back to the team area and I just said, ‘I’m done. I’ve worked too hard for this to be this miserable. I’m doing worse than ever, I’m trying harder than ever, I’m done.’ ”

Her brother talked her out of retirement. “Suck it up,” he said, “you’re a professional.”

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Gould is one of eight American women who will be vying for four spots on the Olympic team this spring…

Read the full article HERE.

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