Champion gymnast with Down Syndrome becomes a stunning model and defies stereotypes

Each of us has been given a unique gift that makes us different and special. Chelsea Werner is a woman who was able to discover her incredible talents and the whole world paid attention to it. At 25 years of age, Chelsea is changing the world by simply being herself. Growing up, Chelsea had to learn the ins and outs of being unique as she has Down syndrome, a chromosomal defect that can delay intellectual and physiological development.

When she was four, her parents enrolled her in gymnastics as a way to help her develop her muscle strength. As she learned the ropes, it was clear that Chelsea wasn’t the average gymnast–she was extraordinary. Chelsea went on to compete in and win four Olympic championships. As an athlete, Chelsea is undeniably remarkable, but there’s something else about Chelsea that is taking the world by storm–this incredible gymnast is now a model and a spokesperson for others with Down syndrome.

The organization We Speak recruited Chelsea to be a model. This international fashion agency focuses on encouraging all people to love themselves and to never be ashamed of their bodies. Werner is already changing the modeling industry from the inside out and hopes to be an encouraging voice for others that have Down Syndrome.

As Chelsea points out to A Plus, the fashion and modeling industries rarely work with people with Down syndrome. Chelsea hopes to change that. She said to the publication, “The more we are represented, the more people will see how capable we are.”

While some may counter this point by asking why there needs to be an increase in representation, Chelsea believes that the rest of the world finds the accomplishments of other individuals with Down syndrome to be inspiring.

This is certainly the case of Chelsea and her accomplishments. It is no small feat to win a Special Olympics championship, let alone win four times. She also reigned as the Defending World Champion not once, but twice. What Chelsea has learned about resilience, confidence, and success is nothing short of inspirational.

Chelsea attributes her confidence and discipline to gymnastics. As she has been training for most of her life, she now wants to share the strength she’s gained with others like her, as well as the rest of the world.

Just as she excelled in gymnastics, becoming a model was no accident for Chelsea. She always sent in applications to agencies but was constantly turned down as most people in the fashion industry don’t see a place for modeling. However, Chelsea kept pushing. Encouraged by her parents, she was never deterred by her rejections. Her strength paid off as Chelsea was discovered through social media by a We Speak scout in 2017.

Briauna Mariah, the founder, and CEO of We Speak was so moved by Chelsea’s story that she knew for a fact she was exactly what was needed to shake the fashion world up as she told A Plus. She saw the potential in Chelsea and knew she had to get her on board. As Chelsea continues to cross barriers in the fashion industry, she continues to be a recipient of admiration and global recognition.

Chelsea hopes to keep inspiring others, especially anyone that has Down syndrome. As she believes that “everyone is beautiful in their own way”, Chelsea wants to keep showing others that they should never give up on their dreams. Mariah of We Speak speaks highly of Chelsea and enjoys working with her. The We Speak team are currently working with Chelsea to build her experience and portfolio.

Mariah almost guarantees that Chelsea will be a huge star.In short, there is no end in sight to the success that Chelsea will achieve. As she shares that with the rest of the world, Chelsea acknowledges that she has become the role model she always wanted to be. When parents see Chelsea reaching her goals, refusing to let anything get in her way, it encourages them to push their kids even more.

Hearing Chelsea’s story is already enough encouragement to inspire us to live our dreams. What did you think of this incredible woman? Leave your thoughts on Chelsea’s story below and send it to others!