Chelsea Werner, an American champion world gymnast with Down Syndrome becomes a high fashion model

Written by Erika Petrie

July 17, 2020

Chelsea as a world champion gymnast

Chelsea Werner, born with Down Syndrome and now 32 years of age never ceases to amaze us. With sheer determination and practice she has become world gymnastics champion twice over (despite low muscle tone she defied all expectations!), and now five years after expressing a desire to become a model, she has succeeded. She never gave up on her dream and despite being turned down by several modelling agencies she didn’t let herself lose hope and has recently been signed up by ‘We speak’, a fashion agency which is keen to promote body positivity and image among women who are ‘different’ and lead a healthy life style, as well as having unique features.

Chelsea is very keen to continue to inspire others with ‘disabilities’ to show that it is possible to achieve your dreams and that perseverance can be rewarded, even when society is not always favourable. She is keen for people with Down Syndrome to be better represented in society, so that it will start to be recognised that DS people are actually extremely capable when given the opportunities they deserve. She has always enjoyed being in front of the camera and has found that gymnastics has offered her some wonderful modelling opportunities, which whet her appetite to get into high fashion. She is keen to embrace this change in career, after 10 years being at the top of her game in the gymnastics world. However, when asked which career she wants to pursue in the future, she quite openly admitted: ‘both’!

This new success of hers is at the heart of changing perceptions quite majorly in the fashion world, where up until now the diversity and inclusion element has been more likely to incorporate different race, skin colour or plus size models. This sets a new standard in terms of a greater acceptance for models with disabilities moving forward. Chelsea herself admits she has had to face a lot of challenges in her life but she has always kept going and never given up…she has always been very stubborn and determined and she also credits her parents with always supporting her self-belief as well. She loves travelling too and her first ever modelling job was for H&M in Cuba… It looks like we are going to continue to see great things for her moving forward and this is also without a doubt going to inspire others like her all over the world!

Chelsea Werner as a high fashion model


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