Local Olympian shares experiences from 1976 Montreal Games

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– In 1973, seventeen year old George Mount had never watched an Olympic event. Three years later, the grants pass resident nearly made it onto the podium at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games in cycling.

“I finished in the sprint at second place and took sixth overall. Which, for an American no one had finished in the top-40 since 1912, or something like that.”

Despite not having been raised in an athletic family, Mount finished sixth at the Montreal Games. Now, almost 50 years later, he says he’s still riveted when watching the games. In fact, he is immediately flooded with memories of one of the greatest moments of his life.

“Its a lot of pomp, a lot of ceremony, and that stuff is great. All the stuff they talk about the nations coming together, its all true. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.”

He says a day in the life of an Olympic athlete, is nothing short of tiring.

“My particular event was 112 miles long so you’re training 4 to 500 miles a week on your bike so eating is number two. Aside from training, number 2 is eating and sleeping.”

Now, he lives a much more relaxed lifestyle. Mount says although he only breaks out the bike every once in a while, he’s still very passionate about the sport.

“Its turned out to be sort of a therapy for a lot of people from back in the day. To get together with their old buddies and realize that life isn’t so bad. You can still hop on your bike and still have a little bike ride and have a good time.”

Now Mount acts as a sort of connector between local Olympians. He says finding a way to use his experience to the advantage of their special community is his next uphill climb.

“If I can help myself and other Olympians reach out and inspire kids and stuff, that’s total payback.”

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