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Tricia Downing

Tricia Downing, MS, MA

On September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia’s competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Making the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia has completed over 100 races, including marathons and triathlons, since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championship twice. Additionally, she was a member of Team USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Tricia’s professional life has been immersed in sports as she earned a master’s degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games.

Receiving many sports accolades, including the USA Triathlon Physically Challenged Athlete of the Year (2003), Sportswomen of Colorado – Inspiration (2003), Triathlon (2005), and Hall of Fame (2012) Awards; the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation; and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority. 

In addition to her sports pursuits, Tricia completed a master’s degree in Disability Studies and Writing, and in 2019 she founded the Denver Disabilities Network to create a bridge between the Denver business community and individuals with disabilities to address the employment needs of the disabled community.

In 2010, Tricia published her memoir, The Cycle of Hope. The second edition was released in January 2017. 

Travels from: Denver, Colorado

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