Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colorado)
Georgia Gould’s athletic endeavors began in college at the University of Montana, when she quit smoking and took up running. She began mountain biking with a club in Idaho, and soon attracted the attention of the Luna women’s mountain bike team. The Luna team signed her in 2006, shortly before she won that year’s cross-country national championship.
Gould has been on top of the mountain biking world since taking that 2006 national title. The following year she went on to win the entirety of the six-race National Mountain Bike Series and topped it off with victory in the Pan-American Mountain Bike Championships and a top-10 finish at the world championships in Fort William, United Kingdom, a feat she repeated in 2008.
That same year, she placed eighth in the women’s cross-country event at the Beijing Olympics, and she goes to this year’s London Olympics as a four-time national champion in the cross-country discipline, with a four-peat spanning 2009 to 2012. Gould recently finished on the podium at the World Cups in Mont Saint Anne and Windham after leading each race until a late mishap. She enters London as a top favorite for gold.