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Perseverance is far from easy. When you get tossed off your horse and break your back, or when a tragic crash shatters bones in your body, you could be forgiven for giving up. However, Christina Gokey-Smith of Team Colavita never got that memo about giving up. She’s battled hardship, injury, and adversity to get to where she is among the elite of crit racing in North America. As she has gotten older she hasn’t slowed down; but rather gotten better and stronger. Each year she dedicates herself to refining and developing new traits to improve her training and performance; including delving deep into meditation and mindfulness, two often overlooked elements of athletics.

In late 2017, long after most teams were formed and with full rosters, she and long-time friend Tina Pic, picked up the pieces of Team Colavita, a legendary women’s organization with a storied history. Through trial and error, and with some serious bumps along the way, they cobbled together a group of women who would in time become sisters and cement themselves as the best crit team in the United States. They have the hardware to prove it, with the overall women’s team title and best U25 racer jersey from the 2019 USACRITS competition.

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