Low muscle tone is a symptom of her diagnosis and she started gymnastics as a way of strengthening her muscles. It only took four years for Chelsea, who is from California, to start training for the Special Olympics!
Knowing that their daughter loved gymnastics very much and seeing her special potential, her parents decided to look for a top-level coach to work with Chelsea. They found Dawn Pombo who saw the talent hidden in her. The start was not easy; they had to stop for regular breaks and Chelsea complained that her stomach hurt. The coach said that he could barely walk on the balance beam one direction and back without falling.
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“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 a determined young lady and began training for 16 hours a day. Pombo, seeing her promising future, pushed her as hard as any other gymnast she had worked with. All the hard work and determination pas off as she won four national championships at the Special Olympics and the International Down Syndrome Foundation World Championships title. And that is not all! She also appeared as a special guest at this year’s NCAA women’s gymnastics championship.
Now Chelsea has set her eyes on modeling. It’s a big challenge, but she is not going to give up so easily. 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 to travel. My first modeling job was for H&M and I filmed it in Havana, Cuba,” she stated proudly.
Speaking about what she thinks of 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 is truly an inspiration to all of us. She reminds us again and again that nothing is impossible.