The first time mountain biker Todd Wells competed in the Olympics, it was where the games first began - Greece.
The first Olympics were held in 776 B.C. and included such events as boxing, running and chariot riding. Wells' sport
didn't make its debut until more than 2,700 years later, in 1996 at the games in Atlanta.
As a kid, I never thought much about the Olympics. I was into BMX, and at the time, BMX wasn't in the Olympics," he
said in a phone interview from Tucson, Ariz., where he trains when Durango is blanketed in snow.
Wells, 34, moved to Durango in 1995 to attend Fort Lewis College; he won collegiate national championships in 1995
He later moved to Tucson, where he completed a degree in management information systems. After a brief stint at IBM, he abandoned corporate America for professional racing.
Of the 2004 games in Athens, he said, I was just overwhelmed with the whole experience."
It's the pinnacle event for our sport. We don't have a Super Bowl or anything, so the Olympics is it for us," he
He finished 19th, matching the best finish ever by an American man.
He went into the 2008 games in Beijing with high expectations after a year of good race results.
I ended up having the worst performance of the year that weekend," he said.
He finished 43rd.
Since then, however, he's been turning in some of his best performances and hasn't ruled out London in 2012.
As long as I keep competitive and improving, I'll probably keep at it," he said.