Travis Gaertner was born without his left leg and half his right leg but he has fully adopted an active lifestyle. He recently became the USA national champion in both the Time Trial and Road Race, won gold at the final UCI 2019 UCI Para-Cycling World Cup, and finished the 2019 season taking home a bronze medal from the 2019 World Para-cycling championships. He lives a balanced lifestyle, finding time to train at the highest level while pursuing his client’s needs during the day with a full time corporate career, and being present in the evenings with his family of five.
While he is new to the sport of hand cycling and pursuing it at a less tender age, his journey in sport began back in the year 2000 while competing for another country in a different sport.
Imagine towing cars with your wheelchair to gain explosive speed and completing 3-mile workouts through unplowed snow to acquire balance in your wheelchair. Those were just some of the things that led Travis to serve as captain of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team, joining the National Wheelchair Basketball Team right out of high school, and becoming a two-time gold medalist in wheelchair basketball in the Sydney 2000 Paralympics and the Athens 2004 Paralympics.
These days four AM wake-up calls to cycle in dark frosty 30 degrees weather, V02 max intervals in the pouring pacific northwest rain, and 3-hour sessions on a SCIFIT upper body ergometer are some of the strategies Travis is pursuing weekly gains in handcycling to pursuit the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games!
Travis has been able to meet a wide variety of inspiring people who have encouraged him along his journey. One of which Travis grew up watching compete – NBA hall of famer Bill Walton and now he’s Travis’ newest fan! Here’s Bill’s take:
To support Travis’s Journey CLICK HERE!
Watch the video below and hear from Travis about why this is so important to him:
There are relatively few disabled athletes competing at this level – that makes this harder:
Why do it if it were easy? Accountability for daily pain is the game:
Check out the history of the hand cycle: UCI’s History of the Handcycle
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13