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Mountain Biking

“Why Going Downhill is Good” – Aussie Pro Tracey Hannah Gives a TED Talk About Mountain Biking

Tracey has been through a lot on the bike. Here she is to share some wisdom...

Photos: Screenshots – TEDxJCUCairns

Tracey Hannah has had her fair share of downhill mountain bike injuries and drama on the World Cup circuit since she got involved at senior level almost five years ago.

The Aussie shredder has had an abundance of collarbone breaks and spent more time in hospital than you’d wish on any pro athlete (or anyone else for that matter!).

In this TEDx talk at JCU Cairns, Hannah talks about her career so far and offers some advice about how to bounce back and find your own mountain. Have a watch:

Tracey Hannah started racing when she was 14. She had a lot of success, even winning the Junior World Champs, but eventually found it so hard to get sponsorship as a woman on the circuit that she had to temporarily retire.

Her brother Mick Hannah signed for Polygon in 2012 and they brought Tracey on board as well. But unfortunately despite a first and second place finish that season, on the sixth stop in Val D’Isere Tracey crashed and broke her femur, her collarbone, bruised her lung and suffered internal bleeding.

The recovery began the next day but Tracey couldn’t move her leg herself so there was a long way to go. She relearned to walk with a walker and went home after three weeks in hospital.

It took six weeks from her accident for Tracey to be able to walk unassisted, and six months after that she was back on the downhill bike racing. It was the Aussie National Championships and she won by less than a second.

Two weeks after the National Champs Tracey crashed again and broke her other collarbone. She got surgery right away and raced four weeks later at Fort William in 2013.

A further crash and more collarbone trouble made it even harder for Tracey to continue with riding, but Hannah fought back to ride at World Champs and managed to finish third behind Emmeline Ragot and Rachel Atherton.

2016 saw Tracey win the Crankworx DH and come third in the downhill World Cup and Word Champs. Her best year so far.

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