Stefanie ‘Stef’ Reid is a Paralympic sprinter who competes for Great Britain in the 100m, 200m and Long Jump. Stef competed in the 2008 Paralympics for Canada and won a bronze medal in the women’s T44 200m. Switching allegiance, Stef began competing for Great Britain in 2010 and broke 3 World records in the space of 2 months. She’s Britain’s only female amputee sprinter and a strong a multi-medal prospect for London 2012.
Born in New Zealand to a Scottish father and an English mother, Stef and her family moved to Toronto, Canada when she was four. Stef lost her right foot in a boating accident, aged 16. Her life was saved by a surgeon in Toronto who managed to stem the blood flow through amputation. Sports loving before the accident, she played rugby union, but encountered difficulties post her amputation with referees who felt the artificial leg could injure other players. Deciding to concentrate on her studies, she gained a full scholarship to Queen’s University to study biochemistry. After joining the campus track and field team, three years later she competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in 2008.
With the option to compete for three countries – based on her of place of birth, the nationality of her parents and her place of residence – she formerly represented Canada in the Beijing Paralympic Games, finishing third in the 200m and fifth in the long jump. Stef took the decision to compete for Great Britain soon after the Paralympics in 2008. It wasn’t an easy choice but one that has been vindicated already with some impressive results. She spent a year out of competition in 2009 in order to complete her switch and has fully embraced British life, training at Lee Valley athletics centre in North London.
Away from the track Stef is an academic scholar and has a degree in Biochemistry. She is currently completing a Masters in Nutrition, an area she hopes to work in once she’s finished competing. Stef was also the face of Channel 4’s new Paralympic coverage and gained notoriety for completing a stunt jump over a car in the opening credits. She is also an accomplished motivational speaker and has undertaken visits to local schools in her short time in London so far.
Stef currently splits her time between her home in the USA and her training in London, a truly multi-cultural upbringing that has helped shape her fantastic personality. Having enjoyed medal success with her third place finish in Beijing, Stef now wants to build on that and experience what it feels like to stand on top of the podium in the 2012 London Paralympics.
Photo and article provided courtesy of http://www.stefaniereid.co.uk/about/about-stef.