This Champion Gymnast Overcame Down Syndrome to Inspire the World
Chelsea Werner made her first foray into gymnastics to build toned muscle and combat the effects of Down Syndrome. Now much more than a form of therapy, Gymnastics has become a passion and Werner is a two-time defending World Champion. One of the most inspiring figures in sports, Chelsea Werner is the proof that there are really no barriers when there is drive and commitment to achieve the highest goals.
From Struggle to World Championships
There was once a time when Chelsea struggled with even the most basic gymnastic exercises. She started practicing over just one hour a week, unable to perform longer sessions due to a lack of conditioning. That changed over the years, through sheer determination and an obvious natural talent. Practice sessions went from a single hour, up to more than 12 hours every week.
Chelsea found huge reward in gymnastics. It became clear that things became easier the more that she practiced. It was the constant reward and noticeable improvements that pushed her to succeed. Her gymnastics coach, Dawn Pombo, said in an interview with TODAY that Chelsea “has put in this many years and hours of gymnastics training and all those times when she didn’t get a ribbon, and she kept going. She fits it to every aspect of what unbroken means.”
Even when faced by huge adversity, such as the Special Olympics committee of Norther California ending its gymnastics program, Chelsea continued her training and her family made sacrifices to ensure that she could improve and travel to events.
When diagnosed with Down Syndrome as a child, nobody would have predicted the heights that Chelsea would reach in her career. From struggling in the beginning, she is now a four times winner of the Special Olympics U.S. National Championships and a two-time World Champion.
Chelsea Werner Continues to Inspire Success in the Face of Any Challenge
Chelsea is acutely aware of the gravity of her achievements and the role that Gymnastics has played in her life and development. On her own website she tells supporters “I love gymnastics and everything it’s done for me! I’m very happy it’s given me an opportunity to inspire others to reach for their dreams! I have broken many barriers over the years and so can you! Everyone has challenges in their life. It’s how you face these challenges that makes the difference.”
Today, Chelsea continues to train, improve, and perform in Gymnastics competitions. She is also a model and has worked with brands like H&M to promote the ability of anyone to achieve in the face of adversity.