1: High: Georgia’s bronze
The U.S. crowd was passionately devoted to Georgia Gould going into the Olympic race, not just because she was among the most likely women to medal, but because it was about time that her luck turned around in international racing.
In the races leading up to the Olympics, Gould proved that she was the most fit competitor, and that she was consistent, but twice in a row ill-timed mishaps led to her losing what would have been her first World Cup wins in the final minutes of the races.
The Olympic mountain bike race was her chance to make up for those disappointments and prove that she should be counted among the best competitors in the world. A gold for Gould seemed likely if the wind blew her way on the day.
After witnessing the domestic races, American fans’ hearts were fragile, and there was no doubt in people’s minds that Gould had earned an Olympic result.
The fairytale ending would have been if Gould had won her first major international race at the London Olympics, but her delight was obvious after she won her bronze, as was the elation of her fans.
“It’s hugely emotional,” she said after the race. “You put so much work into it. It is just another race, but at the same time, it’s not another race. It’s a race everyone is shooting for and everyone is peaking for. You just hope that the preparation that you’ve done is enough to give you what it takes on the day. I’m just glad I could not just have the opportunity to represent my country, but to bring home a medal, too.”
Bronze was certainly not a concession prize for the fan favorite.
Also check out our picks for the Five lows from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics
Emily spent her infancy in the back of a women’s team van while the team built wheels around her. She spent part of her pre-teen years in Europe following the major European mountain, road and gravity races and touring cycling product factories. College was the first time she lived in a home without a frame building shop in her garage or basement. Her favorite style of riding is getting lost in singletrack trail networks and taking her time finding her way back.