Monday, 1 April 2013

Where are they now? Missy Giove

As a new piece to my blog I'd thought about delving into our past and finding out what has happened to bike stars from yester-year.  The years when Mountain Biking started coming of age and the good old Grundig World Cups. There have been many champions to the sport of both downhill and XC but there have been some that stood out more than others and so I'll be delving as deep as I dare and finding out what really happened to them after racing.

Missy Giove

Melissa "Missy" Giove (born 1972) is a former professional downhill mountain biker. Also know as the Missile , Giove was one of mountain-bike racing's first mainstream female superstars with an impressive reseme of achievements as well as her in your face, full on attitude that lit up the womens downhill scene.


She is the American all-time leader in NORBA downhill wins with 14, and is second on the World Cup list with 11. Giove's other accomplishments include three overall NORBA downhill crowns, two World Cup overalls, and the 1994 world championship title. Prior to cycling, Missy was also a nationally ranked downhill skier.

Early in her career, Missy raced for the highly respected boutique Yeti Racing team along with other top downhill racing stars such as Myles Rockwell, Jimmy Deaton, John Tomac, and Johnny O under the management of industry veteran and former owner of Yeti Cycles, John Parker. After establishing herself as the top US women's downhill talent, Missy moved to the larger corporate financed team of Volvo-Cannondale USA cycling team. Together Missy Giove and Myles Rockwell dominated many of the US downhill races under the Cannondale badge in the early 90's. Missy was always known for being colorful and fast talking, and noted for wearing the desiccated body of her deceased pet piranha Gonzo on a necklace when racing, and her dead dogs ashes in her bra.

During her career she raced hard and full on taking on the ethos of riding: "I went fast for maybe 50 yards and then crashed. Then I went 100 yards and crashed. Finally one day I made it across the finish line without crashing. I never got faster, I just made it down farther." This riding was to lead to many hard crashes.  One shattered her Pelvis in six places.  An injury that Doctors had told her she would not fully recover from.  Later while racing she also broke both her legs as well as getting a brain haemorage.

*World Cup Results At Bottom of Page*

What Happened After Racing

She announced her retirement from full-time racing in August 2003, and in March 2004, she appeared in an episode of the cartoon Rocket Power titled "Missile Crisis" (the title referring to her nickname), giving one of the characters a compliment. After retirement she helped finance the travel and fees for several up and coming downhill cyclists.

She retired in 2003. That same year she landed on the cover of Girlfriends magazine for a story promoting the publication’s lesbian athlete hall of fame. On April 25th she will celebrate her 4th wedding anniversary to Kristen Hofheimer Giove.

In June 2009 Giove was arrested in upstate Wilton, New York on charges of conspiring to possess and distribute over 400 pounds of marijuana. Giove has pleaded guilty to the charges and was facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2 million.

On November 23rd, 2011 she was sentenced to the time served, six months of home detention and five years of supervised release. She was reported saying:

"I am extremely sorry and remorseful," Giove said. "I realize I was a role model to certain people. I'm really sorry for making the wrong decisions. I just want to move forward." Giove's attorney, Tim Austin, said head injures both forced his client to retire and sapped her financially, contributing to her decision to traffic marijuana. "Missy's involvement in this does not define who she is," Austin said. "She does not need prison to be rehabilitated."

Back in 2004, Giove was interviewed by competitive cycling journal VeloNews. She was asked what she thought would be her legacy:

I just always wanted to inspire people not to live their life in fear,” Giove said. “You know what, you’re only here once and that’s it. You better live it up.”

World Cup & World Championships Results

Date             Race                                Venue                   Cat  Sponser                Place  Entr %   Best    

13th Jul 20032003 Tissot World Cup #4Grouse MountainElite
8th Sep 20022002 Tissot World Cup #6Les GetsEliteGLOBAL RACING-400%
1st Sep 2002UCI - World Champs '02KaprunElite
14th Jul 20022002 Tissot World Cup #5Telluride, COEliteGLOBAL RACING4th2788%2:22.80
30th Jun '022002 Tissot World Cup #3Mont-Sainte-AnneEliteGLOBAL RACING12th2758%6:31.93
9th Jun 20022002 Tissot World Cup #2MariborEliteGLOBAL RACING26th3731%4:07.41
2nd Jun 20022002 Tissot World Cup #1Fort WilliamEliteGLOBAL RACING5th3588%6:00.17
16th Sep '01UCI - World Champs '01VailElite
26th Aug '012001 Tissot World Cup #8Mont-Sainte-AnneEliteGLOBAL RACING4th3491%5:47.85
12th Aug '012001 Tissot World Cup #7KaprunEliteGLOBAL RACING5th4591%7:20.20
5th Aug 20012001 Tissot World Cup #6LeysinEliteGLOBAL RACING6th3585%6:54.18
29th Jul 20012001 Tissot World Cup #5Arai MountainEliteGLOBAL RACING2nd1994%4:54.34
15th Jul 20012001 Tissot World Cup #4DurangoEliteGLOBAL RACING3rd2592%4:07.55
8th Jul 20012001 Tissot World Cup #3Grouse MountainEliteGLOBAL RACING2nd3797%2:09.75
17th Jun '012001 Tissot World Cup #2VarsEliteGLOBAL RACING3rd3895%3:51.95
10th Jun '012001 Tissot World Cup #1MariborEliteGLOBAL RACING3rd4295%3:23.55
27th Aug '002000 Tissot World Cup #8LeysinEliteAzonic / Foes4th3391%8:12.41
13th Aug '002000 Tissot World Cup #7KaprunEliteAzonic / Foes2nd3897%6:23.47
23rd Jul 20002000 Tissot World Cup #6Arai MountainEliteAzonic / Foes2nd1693%5:45.42
16th Jul 20002000 Tissot World Cup #5VailEliteAzonic / Foes2nd2696%5:00.48
2nd Jul 20002000 Tissot World Cup #4Mont-Sainte-AnneEliteAzonic / Foes1st30100%5:27.99
11th Jun '00UCI - World Champs '00Sierra NevadaElite
3rd Jun 20002000 Tissot World Cup #3MariborEliteAzonic / FOCUS3rd3694%4:34.62
28th May '002000 Tissot World Cup #2Cortina d'AmpezzoEliteAzonic / FOCUS2nd4298%3:41.57
21st May '002000 Tissot World Cup #1Les GetsEliteAzonic / FOCUS3rd3093%3:16.19
18th Sep '99UCI - World Champs '99ÅreElite
15th Aug '991999 Diesel World Cup #8KaprunEliteAzonic / Foes9th2971%7:55.10
8th Aug 19991999 Diesel World Cup #7BromontElite
1st Aug 19991999 Diesel World Cup #6Mont-Sainte-AnneElite
11th Jul 19991999 Diesel World Cup #5Squaw Valley, CAElite
27th Jun '991999 Diesel World Cup #4Big Bear Lake, CAElite
6th Jun 19991999 Diesel World Cup #3NevegalEliteAzonic / Foes2nd3097%5:00.35
30th May '991999 Diesel World Cup #2MariborEliteAzonic / Foes10th3069%5:22.09
23rd May '991999 Diesel World Cup #1Les GetsEliteAzonic / Foes2nd3097%8:17.97
20th Sep '98UCI - World Champs '98Mont-Sainte-AnneElite
30th Aug '981998 Grundig World Cup #8Arai MountainElite
16th Aug '981998 Grundig World Cup #7KaprunEliteCannondale / VOLVO3rd2592%5:26.70
9th Aug '981998 Grundig World Cup #6Sierra NevadaEliteCannondale / VOLVO16th2538%5:30.66
28th Jul 19981998 Grundig World Cup #5Snoqualmie PassElite
21st Jun 19981998 Grundig World Cup #4Big Bear LakeElite
31st May '981998 Grundig World Cup #3Les GetsEliteCannondale / VOLVO3rd2592%6:50.25
24th May '981998 Grundig World Cup #2NevegalEliteCannondale / VOLVO3rd2592%6:42.47
5th Apr 19981998 Grundig World Cup #1StellenboschElite
21st Sep 1997UCI - World Champs '97Château d'OexEliteCannondale/VOLVO43rd4913%9:38.87
15th Aug '971997 Grundig World Cup #6KaprunEliteCannondale / VOLVO1st25100%4:37.22
6th Jul 19971997 Grundig World Cup #5Massanutten, VAEliteCannondale / VOLVO3rd2592%5:07.20
29th Jun 19971997 Grundig World Cup #4Mont-Sainte-AnneEliteCannondale / VOLVO1st25100%6:09.20
1st Jun 19971997 Grundig World Cup #3Sierra NevadaEliteCannondale / VOLVO2nd2596%4:51.42
25th May 19971997 Grundig World Cup #2NevegalEliteCannondale / VOLVO3rd2592%6:29.52
18th May 19971997 Grundig World Cup #1Stellenbosch, RSAEliteCannondale / VOLVO2nd1894%5:30.37
22nd Sep 1996UCI - World Championships '96CairnsEliteVolvo-Cannondale3rd2089%5:31.37
23rd Sep 1995UCI - World Championships '95KirchzartenElite




Makes interesting reading Jez, look forward to the next one! (Emma)

Thanks Emma! Once I got this idea watching some old xc races and it made think where these guys had got to. I don't remember them retiring. I've got loads to choose from and missy seemed a good starting point. Not sure who to write about next!

good effort. one on Nigel 'no wage' Page please, Rob Warner while you're about it :)

What is it with the mavericks of our sport getting popped for big hauls? Missy bringing the mega stash and closer to home poor old Daryl Webster getting done for mass production (look him up, he was a really cool guy and an amazing TT rider)

What next? Chris Boardman getting nicked for boshing Ketamine?!

As a young male XC biker, I looked up to Missy big time back in the 90's. Fast and awesome and cool and successful (and and and...), she made a dorky kid with a helmet feel less dorky on his frankenbike in an area where nobody rode bikes. It's her generation of riders that I still envision trying to catch when I am riding. I wish her the best and hope to buy her a drink one day!

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