In 1999, 17-year-old Findlay High School Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces In The Crowd:
Right next to the Super Bowl-winning QB in the feature that week was a high school mountain biker from Asheville, NC named Willow Koerber.
Like Roethlisberger, Koerber has gone on to a successful professional career.
The 31-year-old Koerber is a professional mountain biker now, and a damn good one. From the ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES last month:
A to professional mountain biker Willow Koerber, a product of Mills River, Brevard High School and UNC Asheville, for winning a bronze medal Sept. 5 in the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia.
(Willow on the right)
After missing out on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and ending her season badly, the professional mountain biker came back stronger than ever this year. Koerber is the first American to medal at the event since 2001. Riding for Team Subaru-Gary Fisher, Koerber finished 52 seconds behind the winner, Irina Kalentieva of Russia.
In BIKE Magazine, she describes herself as wanting to be, “glitzy, glam and fast,” which probably explains her apparent zeal for posing for modeling photos. Lots of modeling photos. (Not that we’re complaining.)
(Click on the pics for larger versions.)