Sam Hill is one of the most exciting and feared competitors in modern downhill mountain biking. Born in Glen Forest, Western Australia, Sam began riding mountain bikes at two—the legal drinking age Down Under. At nine, he was participating in competitive mountain bike events, but it wasn't until the age of twelve that he experienced downhill and fell in love with the sport. The raw speed of the bike, the ruggedness of the terrain, and the technical ability required to avoid disaster were all perfectly tailored to the young man’s developing skillset and innate mindset.
Sam quickly rose in the ranks of Australia's foremost downhill mountain bikers, but he wasn’t content to dominate the domestic circuit—he craved the world stage. At 16, he participated in international races for the first time, placing third at the Vail World Championships in the Under-19 division. The next year, he captured the Junior World Downhill Championship in Kaprun, Austria.
Sam grew out of his Juniors shoes quickly and matriculated to Elite status in 2003. Over the next several years, he gained nearly unstoppable momentum and, by 2007, stood above all contenders as the defending two-time UCI World Men’s Elite Downhill World Cup Champion. Sam went on to claim the overall No. 1 spot in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series in 2009, and he proved his mettle in 2010 at the World Mountain Bike Championships at Mont Sainte Anne, Canada, taking home the title and Rainbow Jersey that goes with it.
Even with the massive amount of abuse that he puts on his knees and shoulders, Sam remains one of downhill mountain biking's most popular, exciting and respected racers. He is generally regarded as the most dangerous threat to contenders in the World Championships, especially when it’s raining, cold, muddy, treacherous and very, very fast. If it’s impossible, Sam is in his element.