Missy Giove … in the true sense of the word she is one of, if not the, most iconic downhill mountain bike riders of all time. She epitomized the sport in its adolescence, the original wild child.
From Dirt Issue 138 – August 2013
Words by Ian Collins. Photos by Ian Collins.
Her influence on the sport had more impact than Shaun Palmer’s unorthodox clothing choices given the times. Not to discredit him, but it really was heavier. Broader than that. She set the tone for what it truly meant to push the physical boundaries of bike, rider and gravity in the sport. Predating him Missy was brash, loud and hell bent in spandex and riding underdeveloped equipment. She recovered from savage injuries and came back for more radiating pure grit. She wasn’t just ragged and out of control though, we are celebrating a serious athlete who was dedicated to her craft. Her accomplishments carry the clout to prove it. In 1994 she won World Championships in Vail, Colorado, on home turf a mere six months after stepping out of a wheelchair. She is still one of the winningest riders of all time with eleven World Cup victories under her belt. In many of these wins she toppled the great Anne Caroline Chausson during her reign of terror. For about a decade, Giove was a constant podium threat amongst the likes of the aforementioned GOAT – Chausson, Leigh Donovan, Giovanna Bonazzi, Mercedes Gonzalez, Sabrina Jonnier, Marla Streb and more. With her eccentric, outward persona and out of control riding style and physical appearance she was tailor made for Reebok commercials, MTV airtime, the X–Games, and massive endorsements from major corporations. Add into that formula her propensity to decimate a good portion of the men’s elite field on any given Sunday and you have the legend that is ‘The Missile’.>>