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Hi everyone! This is Hilda Choi from triathlon. I am currently a full-time tri-athlete under the Hong Kong Sports Institute. I am now 19 and turning to my twenty in a month. Coached by two well-experienced coaches from Canada, Patrick Kelly and Neil Harvey, the year of 2013 was fruitful, rewarding and memorable. Though it was my last year racing as a junior, I was stepping up to gain exposure racing with the “big girls” in the Elite fields. Ranked 11th in Asia, I was proud to have the opportunity to race with the Elite Women who are much older, stronger, and smarter than me. To my surprise, I have clenched some of the titles in Asian cups and brought home with good results.

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“Dare to Dream”. Thanks to the support of my papa mama and sister, I decided to suspend my study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong for one year to become a full-time athlete. This year I will put my head to the big race in September, the Asian Games. Kicking start my full-time sports career from May, I have been fully immersed in the life as a frequent traveler. I indeed got homesick from the very beginning but I slowly adapted and started indulging in the life of being an adventurer. Visiting different countries and cities, exploring the culture and traditions of people, as well as appreciating the breathe-taking natural scenery have been my biggest joy other than racing.

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”TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK”. I must be frank that there are ups and downs, peaks and valleys in life. This does not exclude athletes, though others think that athletes somehow lead an easy simple life. I reminded vividly that the training hours surged immediately to 30 hours per week compared to 20 hours in my part-time athletics’ life after I became a full-time tri-athlete. With extra volume and intensity in trainings, it at first hurt me. But I know that bitter always comes before sweet, I held on with faith and determination that I would climb over stumbling blocks. Though the moments were filled with tears and sweats, I overcame the hurdles. What brought me out of despair was the phrase that my coach Patrick always reminded the team: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear in that we are beyond our limits. Believe you are stronger than you are, faster than you think and tougher than you can imagine. Yup, some days are worse than the others, but if we don’t lose HOPE, we can see the silver-lining.

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Now, I have already picked up 8 weeks of trainings after the off-season. We are now on-going the base training phrase with lots of volume in swim and run. The weather has turned colder and chillier in Hong Kong. Getting up in the morning and jumping in the pool seemed to be harder each day. But it would be just irresistible to carry on the workouts when you see your team mates were so fully prepared and ready to smash the trainings. Two is always better than one. Grateful to have a Superb team.

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“Believe, imagination, preparation” are what reminds me every morning. I believe the year 2014 will be packed with lots of excitement and indescribable emotions, especially Asian Games will be just around the corner. I am very sure that it will be an eye-opening year for me to gain experience racing in major games and I have full confident to bring home fruitful results.

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Other than training, the life as a full-time athlete is meaningful and rewarding. I am privileged to be invited by primary and secondary schools to give out motivational speech in various occasions. It was never easy to speak in front of hundreds of students and teachers, especially addressing the pupils who were just few years younger than me. With lots of practices, trials and errors, my public speaking skills have drilled up. It was actually a big contentment seeing fellow students nodded their heads and showed signs of understanding. Those experiences have added colors in my full-time career and at the same time, given me a strong drive to chase my dream. I am very grateful for the experience that I am able to share, to listen, to motivate others to reach their goals and dreams.

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Special thanks should also go to my three generous and unique sponsors in 2014. Thanks 2XU for providing a gorgeous looking as well as high quality wetsuit. Also, thanks Powerbar for supporting me with fantastic nutrition and supplements. I must say I get really thirst of training after getting your energy-boost foodies. At last, thanks Oakley for continuously trusting in me and supporting me with gears from top to bottom. I was grateful for all your care and love and will definitely do my very best in the coming season.

May be I will just end here. I sincerely wish the team every success in 2014 and earn glory for Hong Kong.

Thanks for reading and will update you soon.

Happy New Year! Have a fruitful 2014. God Bless.

 

Hilda CHOI

 

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