Doctors told the parents of Chelsea Warner, that their daughter has down syndrome and her whole life will be weak muscle tone. But that stubborn girl never gave up and twice won the world Special Olympics. Now Chelsea is building a modeling career. The girl said “Love What Matters”, as was able to succeed despite a diagnosis.
Photo: James Bueti / chelseaworldchampion.com
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One exercise on the bars I mastered 5 years
When I was born, my parents said I have down syndrome. The doctor explained to them that I will never be able to do many things. In addition, I will always have low muscle tone and there’s nothing you can do.
I tried to play football and swimming, but I don’t really like it. When I was about 8 years old, I tried gymnastics for the Special Olympics (an organization dedicated to the development of sport for people with mental disabilities), but I did not work out very well.
I couldn’t walk on balance beam for more than a few steps, although the log was only a few inches off the ground.
My muscles were not very strong, so I needed time to learn even the most simple gymnastic exercises.
I was getting better, but very slowly. My parents decided that I would be so much easier if I just practice more. They found someone who was interested in coaching me.
Dawn, Pombo was a strong trainer. She made me repeat the exercise over and over again. When I moved on to more serious items to do harder.
Coach told us how to break difficult exercises into smaller steps. What other gymnast took a couple of months, I’ve mastered over the year.
There was a time when I thought that I will never be able to learn some items. One exercise on the bars I mastered 5 years.
I knew that I had very low ratings
When I started doing more advanced exercises, I was constantly damaged ankle. I continually went to the emergency room to do an x-ray. The doctors said that something I was born with weak ligaments, and advised to use during training athletic tape. It was many years ago, and since then I have had no more injuries. I really liked to be in command of the Special Olympics, and my hard work was rewarded. The program then gymnastics in Northern California were reduced.
I loved the class, so the parents decided to send me to the regular gymnastics team. We walked all the halls near our house, and I decided that I’ll never be good enough to compete.
And then dawn again saved me. She was ready to coach the team, if only I could do.
The next few years I was in last place at every race. I knew that I had very low ratings.
The judges were much stricter than at the Special Olympics.
My training bore fruit when I became involved in the National championship of the Special Olympics. Once a year I went to Atlanta. Then I finally got a chance to be proud of their hard work. I won this competition 4 years in a row. With my coach I have won 4 national Special Olympic games and two international.
My coach always demanded a lot from me, and I wouldn’t be able to win without it.
I now train and compete in the team USA Gymnastics (non-disabled).
To me often people come up to compliment my performance. Many parents tell me that they have a child with down syndrome and I give them hope. I am proud and happy to hear that.
People want to see real models
I contacted H&M to participate in the program for them. They took me in their commercial.
I was also invited to participate in fashion week in new York. After that I wanted to work in the modeling business. I like it!
My parents were looking for a modeling Agency for me, but they were told that the market for models with disabilities does not exist.
Briana from the model Agency We Speak in new York I saw a video with me and contacted my parents. Agency We Speak is real and healthy models of all shapes and sizes. That’s fine with me! I think people want to see real models that represent all.
I hope that my story will help others understand that anything is possible. Each of us has challenges in life, the only difference is how we cope with them.