“I stutter and people think I’m crazy”

The doctors promised that little Sophie Christiansen, born 2 months early, survive. After 30 years, Sophie has a master’s degree in mathematics, successful career in a major Bank and 10 Paralympic medals.

Sophie. Photo: Sophie Christiansen CBE / Facebook

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Sophie Christiansen was born in 1987 in the UK for 2 months ahead of schedule. The girl was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and then she struck and other health problems: jaundice, blood poisoning, a collapsed lung and a heart attack.

The doctors did not give guarantees that the girl will survive. Sophie not only survived, despite slurred speech and gait nedilnou she won 10 medals in 4 Paralympics, working in a large Bank and struggles for the rights of persons with disabilities.

In 6 years my parents decided to start hippotherapy and led the girl to class Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). “My mom’s allergic to horses,” laughs Sophie admits in an interview. “I started horse riding just to annoy her.”

Sophie with her husband. Photo: Sophie Christiansen CBE / Facebook

At the same age, Sophie went to study, her parents, school teachers hardly managed to have her enrolled in regular school, where he was class for children with special needs. The first time the girl was easy: she was ashamed of problems with it and couldn’t find friends. To overcome shyness helped her first Olympic medal, and now Sophie without hesitation speaks at public events and give interviews.

In the 16 years she appeared for the first time at the Paralympic games in Athens. The youngest in the British team, 16-year-old Sophie unexpectedly won its first medal in equestrian sports and was recognized as an athlete with a disability of the year by the BBC. Now on account of Sophie’s part in 4 Paralympic games and 10 medals, of which 8 were gold.

Photo: onEdition / ParalympicsGB / Flickr

If I did not talk about their disability, to find work would be easier

Sophie has achieved success not only in sports. She has a degree in mathematics and high-paying job at Goldman Sachs. But it was not always so: after graduation, the girl had to put a lot of effort to get their first job.

“When I was educated, I have applied for all programs for University graduates,” she explains.

“I thought, “My resume looks good: I have a master’s degree and in addition two Olympic medals”. I have answered hundreds of jobs and eventually I was invited for just one interview.”

“I know, getting a job is difficult for all graduates, but I can’t help but ask the question, did not affect my disability. I noted the paragraph “disabled person”, because I could not hide this item when going for an interview. But I believe that I would be luckier if I didn’t do it,” she says.

In the end, Sophie got the job thanks to her athletic career, she helped the Agency that deals with employment of athletes and soldiers. Goldman Sachs, the girl was allowed to work 2-3 times a week and she was able to continue to represent great Britain at competitions in equestrian sport.

Photo: Sophie Christiansen CBE / Facebook

“No, I wouldn’t do one thing. When my sports career was too tight on me, I can get back to work, which calms me.

For many athletes sport is a job for a full day, but sometimes it’s important to get out of this world and realize that the end will not come, if you will not win this medal”

“Some people start talking to me through my friends”

Sophie knows how difficult it is for people with cerebral palsy in society. “I stutter and people think I’m crazy,” she says. “Some people start talking to me through my friends, then I say: “Sorry, I’m here.” When they think I have mental disabilities, I try to mention that I have a master’s degree in mathematics.”

The title of eight-time Paralympic champion Sophie allows widely to speak on the rights of persons with disabilities in the country. She repeatedly opposed the cuts in state assistance to people with disabilities and encourages companies often hire people with disabilities. “The General mood in the company should be: “Well, if he could do it, so can we,” she said.

Sophie with her husband. Photo: Sophie Christiansen CBE / Facebook

She also often criticizes the quality of the available environment in the UK. For example, to use public transport only with the help of the volunteer that deprives a person in a wheelchair the ability to spontaneously use transport. “I travelled to Vienna for the New year and metro great. The train approached the platform is aligned with the wagon and from it extends a small ramp. London should be ashamed”.

Sources: The Mixed Zone, The Guardian

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