Ice dance star Stef Reid won bronze at the Beijing Paralympics for Canada, then switched sides and won two silvers while competing for Great Britain.
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Stef Reid made a drastic change after winning bronze in Beijing – and switched allegiances.
The inspirational athlete finished third in the women’s 200m T44 at the 2008 Paralympics while representing Canada.
But four years later, Stef competed for Team GB in the London games and won a silver medal in the F44 long jump, a feat she achieved at the next Paralympics at Rio 2016.
Stef could actually have competed for three different countries, as she was born in New Zealand to British parents.
Her father is Scottish, from Glasgow and her mother is English, from Scarborough, moving the family to Toronto in Ontario, Canada when Stef was four years old.
While staying with a friend and her family at their lakeside cottage in Canada, she flew out of an inflatable hoop being pulled by a boat.
PA Archive / PA Image)
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There was a miscommunication between the driver and the spotter which meant they couldn’t see Stef, so she dived into the water and was almost cut in half by the propeller.
Stef, then 15, was taken to the hospital and had to have his leg amputated in a life-saving operation.
After struggling to pray rugby again with his prosthetic leg, Stef began participating in athletics and competed at the World Championships for Canada.
After winning bronze in Beijing, Stef was given the opportunity to train and compete against a better-funded and more successful England team.
Stef, who is married to Canadian wheelchair runner Brent Lakatos, feels drawn to Team Gb because of her parents.
Admitting that she doesn’t expect people to believe her, Stef told The Guardian in 2012: “No one will take me on face value if I say that’s my calling, I feel loyal. I don’t. never give that answer, regardless of its truth”.
NurPhoto via Getty Images)
“Instead, I just tackled the reasons people thought I had come. One, it’s easier to make the British team. I was a world record holder. I will be on one of the two teams.
“Then people say you’re trying to make money – that’s Paralympics, we don’t participate because we will make money. If I wanted to make money, I would have become a plastic surgeon in LA specializing in breast augmentation.
“I achieved this because of excellence, and England has got the best infrastructure. They traveled the world and hunted for the best coaches. “
Stef is excited to be part of the home team at London 2012 and continues to live in Dallas during his regular training period in England.
She said: “UKA is committed to excellence in both the Paralympic and Olympic programmes, with the facilities, coaches and support to back it up.
“I’m so excited to be part of the home team at London 2012, ironically I will have a bigger cheer in the crowd here than where I grew up because of all my extended family. They’re all British!”
Stef isn’t the only incredible Paralympic athlete in the family, as husband Brent was just 6 years old when he fell while playing ice hockey and the impact caused a blood clot to form on her spine. he.
He was “lucky to be alive” after the horrific accident and left him with hemiplegia – he later got into the sport by playing basketball in a wheelchair.
Brent has won an incredible 11 medals at three Paralympic Games as a T53 wheelchair racer, including a gold in the 100m at Rio 2016.
The 41-year-old Canadian also won the 2020 London Marathon with an unbelievable time of 1:36:04.
Brent, who lives in the UK with Stef, must have found it very difficult to watch his wife skate on the ice, especially since she had suffered a nasty fall early in practice.
When Stef announced she would be joining Dancing on Ice, she said, “He rolled his eyes and said, ‘Stefanie, you’re crazy,’ but he thinks so anyway.”
Brent added: “But that’s also why I love you because you’re ridiculous and think you can do anything – good for you, just do it.”
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/dancing-ices-stef-reid-canadian-26270462 Why Dancing on Ice's Stef Reid Has A Canadian Accent And Switched Allegiance To Team GB