His mum and dad named him George but anybody around the world who follows mountain biking knows him as Gee, Gee Atherton.
He joined the Oakley team in 2003 after dominating the UK youth scene. When he was 15 he was selected to represent team GB in the World Championships in the junior under 18’s category . The following year the experience paid off and Gee collected a silver medal at the World Champs. Since then Gee has stood on event podiums around the world and picked up his 1st World Cup win in Austria in 2004.
Gee is regarded as one of the world’s most talented and versatile bike riders, his main discipline is Downhill but he is regarded as one of the planets best freerider, highlighted by his 2nd place at the Red Bull Rampage event. His all round bike skills and international profile have also attracted invites to various slopestyle and dirt jump events. Traditionally dominated by freestyle riders, Gee not only held his own, but placed a very credible 6th place against the worlds best dirt jumpers. Last year Gee appeared on the BBC’s prestigious Top Gear TV show (UK). They sent him to Portugal to race his bike through the streets of Lisbon against Richard May, of course Gee won and with it left the TV production crew amazed at his talent.
Gee’s goal has alway been to become World Champion, this year he made it happen in Italy along with his sister Rachel who won the Womens title.
Q & A
To me, Oakley is
Incredible, the amount of support they provide for so many athletes, they are more than just another sponsor. You need sponsors like these to reach your dreams.
Do you have any other special talents (music / write / draw / paint)?
Any last words?
Keep it lit.
If you were not a pro mountain biker you would be?
A Doctor of Science
What is more important to you than mountain biking?
Bands: Prodigy, AC/DC, The Streets, The Strokes, and DJ Krush. Movies: Notorious Books: The Dirt - Motley Crue. Drink: Water, Scotch, and RedBull
If you could be someone famous, who would you be?
George Best in his day.
When did you start your sport?
Party animal or mellow TV on the couch?
I'm pretty mellow but I like to party.
5 Items I can't live without
Cell phone, ipod, Thumps, my bmx, and food - lots.
How did you start Mountain Bike riding? How old were you?
My brother got me into BMX when I was super young, then I followed him into mountain bikes at about 15.
What have you learned from your brother and sister who are also professional mountain bike riders?
I have learned a lot from both of them, to start with Dan taught me everything I needed to know about bikes, partly from him telling me how to do stuff and pushing me to try stuff and partly from just watching him and picking things up. He was always the person I looked at and learned from. From Rach I have learned a lot about how a strong mindset and confident approach can get you a long way at a race..... she is one of the most self assured racers I know.
Heroes and why?
Jackie Stewart, for the way he conducted his career both during his years racing F1 and after.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced?
I try to look at circumstances as opportunities rather than obstacles.
What is the best advice you've heard?
Have a plan.
What is the best advice you've heard on improving in your sport?
Focus on riding well, where you are going and what you are doing then the speed will come naturally.
Where is your favorite place to ride and why?
Maribor , Slovenia..... I love the track there, it's so fast and technical, you can really get wild on it.
At this level, what is something unique that you do in your training to improve your riding?
Riding a lot of other bikes as well as my downhill bike is important to me, like riding dirt jumps or riding motocross
What are your goals for 2009/2010?
To become more consistent in the World Cup series, beat my bro at arm wrestling.
How do you get and stay inspired?
Losing races is just as much a driving force for me as winning them
What are your strengths?
Adapting to tracks
Any good stories from a day of riding or traveling to a contest? If so tell us about it
Yesterday I blew up my 2009 honda 250crf that I had just bought 2 days before....... awesome.