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Moment #97: Mountain bike racing champion Missy Giove comes out

Part of Outsports’ series on our 100 most important moments in gay sports history.

Mountain Bike Racing, 1995. She was one of the first female stars of her sport. Originally she took to biking to improve her skiing; She was already a Junior National Champion skier in 1990 and was looking to reach the next level. But she soon found herself dedicating her time and energy to the biking. By 1994 she had finished with a bronze and a gold at the world championships.

Nicknamed "The Missile," the brash, outspoken champion came out to a reporter in 1995. She later told Girlfriends magazine that while she faced homophobia in the sport the experience was overall very positive:

There are always those instances where you're called the 'son of Satan' that scare you, but there are thousands and thousands that are positive. Like when people thank me for being a positive role model in their kid's life. There are going to be the occasional one or two [homophobic instances], but it's so minimal.

She is still the all-time leader in downhill wins (14) for the National Off-Road Bicycle Association. She even appeared in a Reebok commercial in 2006 (you can see the video below).

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