Stef Reid is one of 12 famous faces taking to the ice in this series of Dancing On Ice – here’s everything you need to know about the GB Paralympian.
Dancing On Ice kicks off tonight, with all the celebs hoping to impress in their pairings as they face the panel of Oti Mabuse, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo.
Names from across the world of music, sport and entertainment will take to the rink for the first time, with half the couples up tonight, with the remaining six skating next Sunday.
One person who is hoping to impress is sporting star Stef, who is already one of the favourites to make it all the way to the final.
Stef is a Paralympic long jumper who competes as part of Team GB, and is a five-time world record holder, reigning world champion (London 2017 long jump), and triple Paralympic medallist in the long jump and 200m sprint.
The athlete lost her right foot in a boating accident when she was 16-years-old,
She underwent a lifesaving operation in Toronto which saw her right leg amputated below the knee, meaning she now wears a prosthetic.
Stef was a keen sportswoman before her accident and played rugby union, but encountered difficulties after her amputation with referees who felt the artificial leg could injure other players
She got into her campus track and field team whilst attending Queen’s University in Canada, and competed in her first World Championships three years later.
Her first Paralympic Games was held in Beijing in 2008, where she initially competed for Canada, winning a bronze medal in the women’s 200 metres – T44 event, before switching her allegiance to Team GB at the start of 2010.
Stef was made an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to Paralympic sport.
Fans may also recognise her from elsewhere on-screen as she competed in the 2018 series of Celebrity MasterChef, where she made it to the semi-finals.
Prior to the show beginning, host Phillip and judge Christopher gave a bit of detail as to how Stef worked with those on the show to develop a high-tech prosthetic she could use on the ice.
Chatting to Metro.co.uk and other press at the recent show launch, Phillip said: ‘Let’s not forget about Stef, this is someone always an inspiration anyway, but you guys have helped develop an entire new prosthetic and it works. I mean, it’s like Formula 1!’
Chris went on to explain: ‘The technology that’s gone into developing it and her sort of prototyping it and going, “No, we need a little bit more of this,” and it’s so intricate, she’s gone through so much time and effort to get it right.
‘The fact is, after she got it right, we saw a tape of her skating and to begin with, you would not know there was a prosthetic.
He added: ‘I’m excited to see what Stef’s going bring, she’s such an inspirational person.
‘For her, it’s not a handicap in any way – she loves it!’
Phil weighed in and noted: ‘What’s lovely now is that you’re not actually talking about the fact that there is some sort of disability have you used to actually talk about the tech to make it?
‘It looks sleek and I can’t wait to talk to her about it.
‘When we had Heather Mills McCartney [on the competition], her leg looked very much like it was made to look like a foot and a leg, this time we’ve got high tech steel!’
Dancing On Ice begins tonight at 6.30pm on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.