KETCHUM, Idaho -- The Cross Country Mountain Biking National Championships drew more than 1,000 of the nation's elite riders to Ketchum and Sun Valley this weekend. But one rider drew much more attention than any of the others, Ketchum's own Georgia Gould.
"This is where I started riding mountain bikes," said Gould.
She lived in Ketchum for just six years (1999-2005). But Gould considers it her hometown, and was back home again for the National Championships.
"It's just a great mountain bike destination, for sure," said Gould. "There's probably a lot of people out here that are like, 'Man, I used to smoke her!'"
'Used to,' being the key phrase, because that love of Ketchum and riding has turned into incredible success. In just eight years, Gould has 74 wins, eight series championships, and four National Championships, until Saturday. That's when Gould won her fifth National Championship, after taking the cross country title for the third straight year, the second in her hometown.
"It never gets old," said Gould. "To be able to wear the USA National Champion jersey at all the races, all year, it always makes me proud. And it's special for me to win in front of this crowd, and in this awesome place."
After a World Cup stop in France, Gould's off to London where this National Champion will ride to become an Olympic Champion.
"I'm really excited," said Gould. "It's totally overwhelming, and stressful. Don't get me wrong, I'm also like, 'Blahhh, the Olympics!' But, I'm really excited, and just really honored to get the chance to represent my country on that world stage, the biggest stage there is."
When asked if she had a goal at the Olympics, she responded, "Yes, I do, to win!"
In 2008, Gould finished 8th in the Beijing Olympics. But she has twice as much pro experience and a lot more wins under her belt now, and she hopes that leads to a medal around her neck in London.
Gould has a chance to win one more National Championship this weekend, as the competition continues Sunday at the River Run Lodge in Ketchum. She'll race at 2:45.