Stef Reid, a paralympic long jumper, understands firsthand that nothing is certain in life.
Stef Reid’s sporting goals were put on wait after she lost her leg in a boating accident when she was 15… until she was given a running blade at university. Now that she’s won three Olympic gold, the paralympian shares her advice on never giving up.
The Paralympic Games have just started, and all eyes are on Tokyo as we cheer on Team GB to victory. However, the Games were on the verge of being canceled due to the pandemic.
Stef Reid, a paralympic long jumper, never expected to confront a challenge like training for an event that wasn’t sure to take place.
“If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that there are no promises. We don’t know what the world will look like next week, or next month,” says Stef, 36, a Leicestershire resident who studies at Loughborough University.
“It was difficult when the Games were postponed. I had to question myself if I wanted to commit to Tokyo 2021, devoting another year of my life to something that could be cancelled at any time. I had to go through a lot of information.
“However, I knew I didn’t want to stay at home watching these Games knowing I hadn’t done everything I could to get there.”
Stef, a five-time world record holder and three-time Paralympic medalist, is the reigning long jump world champion. However, at 36 years old and recuperating from an injury in 2019, getting to Tokyo was a race against time.
“I realize I’m nearing the conclusion of my working life. I’ve had a fantastic time. I’m 36 years old and grateful that my body allows me to continue doing what I love. If I had my way, I’d be doing it in my 60s.”
When I talk to Stef on Zoom, I’m struck by how upbeat she is.
And she attributes this in part to the boating accident in which she lost her right leg when she was 15 years old.
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“Did it seem cruel to you? Yes. I was dealing with a life-altering injury and a permanent disability. I had no choice but to accept it. And it felt like everything was happening at once at 15, when my body was already going through puberty,” she recalls.
“However, I recall everything.”Brinkwire Summary News”.