THROWBACK THURSDAY: TWO-TIME OLYMPIAN MARY GRIGSON
The Australian racer won two World Cup races in the U.S. before moving here
20 YEARS AGO
Australia’s Mary Grigson, who is now 52, was one of the world’s top cross-country racers in the 1990s (when MBA’s John Ker shot this photo of her at Mammoth Mountain, California) and the early 2000s.
The New Zealander started racing mountain bikes while studying to become a registered nurse. She graduated from nursing school and went to work in a blood bank, but the medical profession was soon put on hold as Grigson’s racing career took off.
Mary’s racing career had begun as a descender. She was the New Zealand National DH Champion in 1993. In 1995, she moved to Australia and concentrated more on pedaling up hills, winning multiple cross-country national championships in Australia.
Mary competed in two Olympics, taking 15th in Atlanta in 1996, and 6th in Sydney, Australia in 2000.
Mary had her greatest success while racing in the U.S. She dominated the NORBA circuit to win two NORBA Overall XC Championship titles in 2000 and 2001, and she also took two World Cup wins on American soil: Napa, California, in 2000; and Durango, Colorado, in 2001.
Grigson announced her retirement from racing at the NORBA National Championships in Durango, Colorado, in August 2003. That was the same event where downhill legend Missy Giove announced her own retirement.
We said at that time, “You haven’t seen the last of Mary. While she’ll be spending most of her time reviving that nursing career, the Australian says she’ll still be rippin’ up the singletrack on the weekend.”