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Chelsea Werner

Your name/about yourself ?

My name is Chelsea Werner. I'm a World Champion Gymnast and Model who happens to have Down Syndrome. I advocate for inclusion and hope that I am a good role model.

What do you do?

I'm a 4X USA Special Olympics Gymnastics Champion and 2X World Champion. I am also a Model and have walked at NYFW twice now. I'm hoping that I can make the fashion/modeling Industry more inclusive.

Why did you get into that?

When I was young I tried many sports. I tried soccer, soft ball, swimming, etc. I didn't really love any of these. When I was eight years old my parents decided to have me try gymnastics. I wasn't very good at it but I enjoyed it. I liked having teammates and especially loved performing in front of people.

Name 3 words to describe you best?

Happy, determined, performer

Which females influence you the most?

My coach Dawn Pombo has had a great influence on me. Many other coaches never saw potential in me. Dawn saw past my disability and that made all the difference in the world!

What struggles have you over come and how?

I have never seen anything as an obstacle. To be good at something everyone has to work hard. I really started to improve when I found a coach who believed in me. Dawn Pombo treated me like any other gymnast and had high expectations for me. I had to train like all the other gymnasts and put in many hours in the gym.

How do you stay positive and focused?

I am a positive person by nature. I'm not afraid to try new things and am very persistent. In gymnastics new skills can take years to learn. It takes me longer than the average gymnast but my determination always pays off in the long run! I do gymnastics because I love it and I love performing for others. I love hearing that I inspire others!

Any words of advice for future girl bosses following in your footsteps?

Do what you love! Don't let anyone tell you you can't do something. I do things in Special Olympics that have never been done before. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams!