Height: 5'2"/1.6 m
Weight: 107 lbs./49 kg./7.9 st.
Place of Birth: Summertown, Tennessee
Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina
Residence: Durango, Colorado
Education: University of North Carolina-Asheville
Olympic Experience/UCI World Championships Results
- 3rd Place — 2010 World Mountain Bike Championships, Windham, New York
- 3rd Place — 2009 World Mountain Bike Championships, Canberra, Australia
- 2nd overall—2010 World Cup Series
- 2010 Pan American Mountain Bike Champion
- 2nd place — 2010 World Cup #1
- 2nd place — 2010 World Cup #2
- 1st place — 2010 USA Cycling PRO XCT, short-track cross-country
- 3rd place — 2010 USA Cycling PRO XCT, cross-country
- 2nd place — 2009 U.S. National Championships, short-track cross-country
- 1st place — 2009 USA Cycling PRO XCT, cross-country, Windham, New York
- 1st place — 2009 SRAM Ashland Super D
- 2nd place — 2009 USA Cycling PRO XCT, cross-country, Mt. Snow, Vermont
- 3rd place — 2009 USA Cycling PRO XCT, short-track cross-country, Mt. Snow, Vermont
- 2nd place — 2007 U.S. National Championships, short-track cross-country
- 3rd place — 2007 U.S. National Championships, cross-country
- 2nd place — 2006 NMBS, Mt. Snow, Vermont
- 3rd place — 2005 U.S. National Championships, cross-country
- 1st place — 2004 NMBS, Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho
- 1st place — 2004 NMBS, Mt. Snow, Vermont
- Three-time Collegiate National Champion (1996, 1997, 1999)
Points of Interest
When Willow entered the 1996 Collegiate National Championships, her school (University of North Carolina, Asheville) didn't have a cycling team—but she was told she needed an official college jersey to enter. So her brother Sam painted “UNCA” on a white shirt for her. Willow won.
- Willow is the first cyclist to win a World Championship medal on a bicycle with 29-inch wheels.
- Willow’s bikes have names, including one called Love and another named Salix (Latin for willow).
- As an advocate of alternative nutrition and medicine, Willow is always encouraging her teammates to try various dietary tactics or supplements she is using.
In 2010, Willow Koerber finished the Mountain Bike World Cup season in 2nd overall, became a Pan American champion, and snagged her second consecutive Mountain Bike World Championships bronze medal. When she captured her first bronze in 2009, she became the first American to win a Mountain Bike Worlds medal in eight years.
The petite cyclist was born in 1977 to an 18-year-old hippie couple on a Tennessee commune called The Farm. A few years later, they became devout Seventh-Day Adventists, and the family moved to Asheville, N.C. Willow is the oldest of four children.
The family were avid sports enthusiasts, and Willow participated in team gymnastics (in which she was the top on a human pyramid), Little League baseball (with the boys), co-ed soccer and volleyball, basketball, track, and triathlon. When she was 13, she and her 10-year-old brother rode a metric century (100 kilometers, or 62.14 miles). They thought their dad would ride with them, but he just gave them an energy bar and said, “See you guys at the finish!”
In 2007, approaching the Olympic year, Willow earned four top-10 World Cup finishes—but then her performance inexplicably tanked. She didn’t even qualify for the 2008 Olympic team. But she refused to quit, and in 2009 she got a new coach, broke off her engagement, and moved to Colorado. The drastic changes in training and outlook paid off, and 2010 was Willow’s best year ever—and now she’s looking forward to another Olympic year in 2012.