Missy Giove

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Missy Giove
Giove0103 369.jpg
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Women's Mountain bike racing
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1994 Vail, Colorado USA Downhill (DH)
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Métabief, France Downhill (DH)
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Cairns, Australia Downhill (DH)
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Kaprun, Austria Downhill (DH)
World Cup
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Downhill (DH)
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Downhill (DH)
Gold medal – first place 1996 Downhill (DH)
Gold medal – first place 1997 Downhill (DH)
Silver medal – second place 1998 Downhill (DH)
Silver medal – second place 1999 Downhill (DH)
Silver medal – second place 2000 Downhill (DH)
Silver medal – second place 2001 Downhill (DH)

Melissa Giove (born 1972) is an American professional downhill mountain biker. Her nickname is The Missile. Giove was one of mountain-bike racing's first mainstream superstars, appearing on the Conan O'Brien show[1] and in adverts for Reebok. Throughout her career she won 14 NORBA downhill titles and 11 world cups. Giove's other accomplishments include three overall NORBA downhill crowns, two World Cup overalls, and the 1994 world championship title.


Prior to cycling, Giove was also a nationally ranked downhill skier. She discovered mountain-biking during the offseason.[2]

Early in her career, Giove raced for the highly respected boutique Yeti Racing team along with other top downhill racing stars such as Myles Rockwell, Jimmy Deaton and John Tomac, 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, Giove moved to the larger corporate financed team of Volvo-Cannondale USA cycling team. Together Giove and Myles Rockwell dominated many of the US downhill races under the Cannondale badge in the early 90's. Giove was always known for being colorful and fast talking.

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.

Giove was noted for racing with the ashes of her dog Ruffian concealed in her bra[3] and wearing the desiccated body of her deceased pet piranha Gonzo. She is openly lesbian.[4]

In June 2009, Giove was arrested in Wilton, New York on charges of conspiring to possess and distribute 384 pounds of marijuana. Giove pleaded guilty to the charges.[5] On November 23, 2011, she was sentenced to the time served, six months of home detention and five years of supervised release.[6]

Giove was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2016[7] and was an honorary inductee into the Italian Hall of Fame in 2017.


  1. ^ Kristen Hofheimer (2014-08-21), Missy Giove on Conan O'Brien, retrieved 2018-10-01
  2. ^ "Missy Giove | Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame". mmbhof.org. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  3. ^ "Missy Giove: "The Missile" That Had to Be Stopped". WeLoveCycling magazine. 2017-07-14. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  4. ^ Kennedy, Mark (1996-09-26), "She's fast! She's crazy! She's a mountain-bike goddess", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2007-07-01[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Wilton pot bust nets 384 pounds", The Saratogian, 2009-06-18, retrieved 2009-06-18
  6. ^ "Ex-bike champ avoids prison in pot bust", Times Union, 2011-11-23, retrieved 2011-11-23
  7. ^ "Missy Giove". Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2018-03-16.