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Getting Beijing ready for the World Cup fireworks

Getting Beijing ready for the World Cup fireworks (Image credit: Travis Smith)

January 14, 2009

As I boarded Air China flight 984 for Beijing I was given ample time to reflect upon 2008 and also envision what 2009 holds. Boarding this flight accurately symbolizes a new year, a new team and new ambitions.

Having an injury-plagued year truly lets an athlete appreciate not only good health (when it returns) but also the fact that our athletic life span is finite. In short, we better enjoy it while we have it. Coming back from a major hip injury last year, I narrowly missed my life-long aspiration of representing Canada in the Olympic Games in Beijing . What made this shortcoming even more painful was the fact that both of my American training partners, Adam Duvendeck and Gideon Massie, headed East last August to represent their country in the world's largest track cycling spectacle.

This is a new year, however, and now that I'm healthy I'm appreciating all of my opportunities more than ever. With the support of Hawk Relay (, the Hawk Relay Cycling team and all of our great team sponsors, supporters and staff, I feel like I have never been better equipped to stand upon the podium.

My biggest goal for the New Year is to race the keirin with confidence and make the final in Beijing . Once I'm in the final anything can happen, but I know from my times in training that I can do well here. I'm now taking is all one step at a time, and enjoying every step along the way this New Year!

Happy New Year to all of our great Hawk Relay cycling supporters. You can follow along the Beijing World Cup action at

Travis Smith

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The Los Angeles-based Hawk Relay team is working to put its riders among the top of the world's best track cyclists. Through their Cyclingnews diaries, riders Jennie Reed, Adam Duvendeck, and Travis Smith and the Hawk Relay coach Andy Sparks will allow a unique insight into the world of track cycling and the training required to compete at the top of the sport.

The team is the only professional cycling team run by a deaf owner, Robin Horwitz, and is supported by the maker of a video relay system designed to provide deaf and hard of hearing people with the necessary tools to achieve full and equal telecommunications access. Horwitz combined his love for the sport with his sponsor's (Hawk Relay) passion for generating opportunities for the hearing-impaired to create this unique squad.

For further reading about the program, see the team summary or visit the