In one instant, on September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic dependent on a wheelchair. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia's competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Through her experiences in both rehab and racing, Tricia has overcome adversity and learned what it takes to perform at the top of her game. Now as a world-class physically challenged triathlete, Tricia travels the globe racing and sharing her message of strength and perseverance.
Having made the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia knows the true meaning of the words challenge and change, and has learned a wealth of lessons to deal with the obstacles we all face in reaching for our personal goals.
As the first female wheelchair racer to complete an Ironman Triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run), Tricia knows that life is an endurance sport. In her presentations, she engages her audiences by sharing stories of her athletic adventures and the lessons that have not only gotten her to the finish line, but are applicable in daily life for anyone who strives to succeed despite the obstacles along the way.
Tricia's professional life has also been immersed in sports as she earned a master's degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and for the USA Swimming team at the 1997 World University Games in Italy. Before becoming a professional speaker, she taught high school in the Denver Public Schools. Today she takes people on their journeys from start to victory, motivating each person to reach his or her own finish line, just as she has reached hers. Receiving many sports accolades including the Inspiration ('03) and Triathlon ('05) Awards from the Sportswoman of Colorado, the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority, Tricia has truly excelled despite her life-altering injury.
Tricia's storytelling is genuine, engaging and thoughtful. Her humor and vivaciousness, in combination with the seriousness of her subject, keep audience members on the edge of their seats and leave them with the belief that they too can do anything they put their minds to.