Santiago Canyon College (Calif) student to be inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
Santiago Canyon College (Calif) student Leigh Donovan will be inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The 42-year-old Santa Ana resident juggles work, family, and college. However, living life at a fast pace is nothing new for Donovan. At age 11, Donovan began racing BMX bikes. After eight years of BMX racing, Donovan tried out mountain biking and by her second race, she was hooked. Competing from 1993 to 2001, Donovan became the most decorated U.S. downhill and slalom rider. But becoming a full-time competitor was not an easy choice for her to make. When the opportunity came for her to compete, Donovan was a student at Rancho Santiago College (now Santa Ana College) where she was trying to make her mind up about majoring in automotive technology or psychology. Just about that time, opportunity knocked. She was offered a spot as a full-time mountain bike racer. She could become a professional athlete in a sport she loved. So race she did. In 1995, Donovan won the mountain bike triple crown—the national slalom championship, the national downhill championship, and the world championship—something that nobody else has accomplished to this day. Throughout her racing career, she won nine U.S. National championships, the 1995 World Championship, and the 2001 World Cup Dual championship. In 2001, Donovan retired from her professional racing career with the world championships in Vail, Colo. Now that her racing career is over, Donovan has returned to college at Santiago Canyon College Because she is juggling college with motherhood and her new business, iChoose- Bikes, where she focuses on women’s mountain bike events, coaching, clinics, and being an ambassador for women in mountain biking, she is only able to attend college part-time. She has committed herself to the study of business administration.