Watching professional gymnastics can be so mesmerizing; the graceful moves and impressive acrobatics leave us non gymnasts unable to fathom how it’s possible for the human body to achieve so much.
This 22-year-old is rocking the world with her gymnastic abilities. But not only is she a four-time national champion, she also has Down syndrome.
Chelsea Werner doesn’t view her disability as a limitation.
Chelsea Werner from California started doing gymnastics as a way of strengthening her muscles as low muscle tone is a symptom of her diagnosis.
Just four years later this impressive young lady was training for the Special Olympics!
Knowing how much their daughter loved gymnastics and how far she had come in four years her parents set about looking for a top level coach to work with Chelsea.
They found Dawn Pombo who saw the potential in Chelsea and admired how hard she worked to achieve her dreams.
It was a struggle to start with as Chelsea would have to take regular breaks and complained that her stomach hurt. Her coach said she could barely walk on the balance beam one direction and back without falling.
“I would say to her parents, ‘I’m going to try to teach her, you know, a back handspring,”’ Pombo told Today.
“They’re like, ‘Oh, there’s no way. Are you kidding?’ No, I think she can do it.”
Chelsea was determined to prove her talent and began training for 16 hours a day.
Pombo pushed her as hard as any other gymnast she had worked with, seeing in her the potential to become something great.
Her hard work and determination has paid off as Chelsea has now won four national championships at the Special Olympics and the International Down Syndrome Foundation World Championships title.
She also appeared as a special guest at this year’s NCAA women’s gymnastics championship.
Today, Chelsea got her sights set on modeling. It’s a big challenge, but this 22-year does not give up so easily.
Her hard work and strong will have paid off big time for her
Chelsea has been featured on the cover of Teen Vogue, walked in New York Fashion Week, and traveled across the world for big-brand campaigns.
“I have always loved being in front of the camera – that’s where I got the nickname ‘Showtime.’ Whenever there is a camera or an audience I am at my best. I also love the travel. My first modeling job was for H&M and I filmed it in Havana, Cuba,” she stated proudly.
Speaking of her view on being a role model, Chelsea said, “I love it! Many times I hear it from parents of young children. If I can help give anyone hope that makes me very happy and proud!”
Chelsea’s journey is one remarkable road! Chelsea and her family, as well as her coach, have refused to let her condition get in the way and allowed her to achieve her dreams, against all odds.
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