Georgia Gould is the Most Awesome Person in the World...

9:15 PM

It is too hot today to post, and it has been too hot all week to post.  All week above 90 degrees, and we hit 101 yesterday?  Quite frankly my brain is fried.  The Spouse and I spend our days watching the Tour and lengthening our list of places to waste time that have air conditioning. 

The Tour is off to a good start, but what I am obsessed with this week is Georgia Gould – the most awesome person on the planet.

First, if you don’t know who Goergia Gould is, shame on you.  She is the best mountain biker in the United States, she is London-bound, she races for the Luna Chix team, and she is an amazing cyclocrosser in the fall as well.  Also, she has a great sense of humor.  What other professional athletes actually invite people to heckle them on Twitter? 

I love Georgia’s attitude.  In the last two weeks she has had two incredibly difficult races – both were World Cup races (Mont Ste Anne and Windham), both were races she had a lead in, and both were races she lost right at the end.  The first was due to cramps, the second was due to a flat.  It’s the second race that is so heartbreaking…just look at the photo:


My immediate reaction was anger at Catharine Pendrel and Katerina Nash.  These are her teammates, mind you, chasing her down right at the line.  I could understand if they were opponents, but her own teammates?!

Georgia, however, had a very different reaction.  In her blog (link) she describes it as a surreal moment that was reflected in the faces of the crowd.  Writing just one day after the race she says:
“I don’t hold anything against my teammates…I don’t want to win my first World Cup by having it handed to me.  It was an awkward situation no matter which way you cut it, but I would have felt way worse if my teammates sat up and let me win…I will earn it, and I will win it straight up.” 
Pure class.  And just as I was ready to start stoking my own little fire of dislike for Catharine Pendrel I read her perspective on her blog (link):
“We are good because we are all strong, competitive women that want to earn our results and aren’t afraid to fight for them…On retrospect I would have loved to jump off my bike and have Katerine follow my lead and challenge the three to an even fielded running race.  This would have showed the unity and competitiveness of our team and given Georgia a fair chance…all without us having to sit up and neutralize the race, all getting to feel we had the chance to give everything.  But you only think of this afterwards while you punish yourself for being a competitor above a teammate.”
And then you think – what would you do in that situation?   Would you have the presence of mind to even the playing field?  And if you did, would you be criticized for being soft?  No one needs to hand Georgia a win – she will get it all on her own – so Windham just wasn’t the place for it to happen.  The most anyone can do here is to acknowledge what a crappy situation random happenstance can create, and celebrate all of the victories in the race:

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