At 31, Tricia Downing was in the best shape of her life. In the summer of 2000, Tricia, an avid cyclist, drove across the country for what amounted to 18 races in 23 days. She returned from her adventure to a fresh start: a new job awaited her, and determined to make the next summer the year she would make her mark on the world of cycling, she began a rigorous training strategy.
But on September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing’s life took a detour. While training on her bicycle one sunny Colorado afternoon, Tricia collided with a car that turned directly in her path, and instantly became paralyzed from the chest down.
As a competitive road and track cyclist and lifelong athlete, losing the use of her legs is devastating on all accounts. As she re-learns to do everything from sitting straight up to navigating through her house in a wheelchair to returning to work and operating a handcycle, her grueling recovery takes her to the very core of her athletic mettle. This inner strength helps her to not only learn to live life as a paraplegic – a label that takes time to grow accustomed to – but to have the courage to return to the competitive sport she loves and almost lost. Determined to live life on her terms, Tricia turns her misfortune into opportunity, and is now a wheelchair racer, competing regularly in triathlons around the globe. Cycle of Hope chronicles Tricia’s journey from the first terrifying moments of impact with the car through rehab and her emergence as a world-class athlete.