Peterborough has yet another contestant tangoing into this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
The city’s Paralympian star Lauren Steadman originally from Sawtry is the thirteenth celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand new series.
Lauren says: “I still don’t think it has properly sunk in that I’m actually going to be part of this year’s Strictly! I have loved the show since I was young, and it’s a huge thing to tick off my bucket list.
“I’m more nervous about being on stage, performing live and in front of the judges than I am about the Elite Paratriathlon Grand Final next month! But I’m up for the challenge and excited to swap my triathlon kit for dancing shoes and sequins.”
Lauren Steadman is a double World Champion Paratriathlete, Paralympic Silver medallist and six times European Champion. She was born missing her lower right arm, but this has only spurred her on to be the best she can be, and she relishes the challenge of overcoming these barriers.
When ESP caught up with Lauren when she opened Stanground Sports Centre a few years ago she told us – “When I was born, my parents were worried that I wouldn’t be able to ever ride a bike or make friends. I’ve done everything they feared I wouldn’t do, and much more – I always found a way. I may look silly in the way I do certain things, but the point is that I do them.”
Lauren started her sporting career in swimming at the age of 11, with her first international competition at age 13 in Denmark. At 14, she went to Beijing Paralympics Games at which point her career really took off. Such was her talent, Lauren switched sports from swimming to triathlon after London 2012’s Paralympic Games where she then went on to win silver at Rio 2016 in the sport’s inaugural inclusion at the Games.
“I first got into triathlon after my uncle, who is a triathlete, suggested I try it,” Lauren told ESP. “I think it’s great pushing my body to the limits in not one but three sports.”
This September Lauren will be competing in the Elite Paratriathlon Grand Final in the Gold Coast Australia, she heads there as the European Champion and will be hoping to regain her World Champion Title.
Lauren’s appearance on the dance show sees her follow in the footsteps of several other Peterborough stars to compete on the show including previous winner gymnast Louis Smith, singer Aston Merrygold as well Royal Marine Cassidy Little who took the title of The People’s Strictly Champion.
The 16th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.
Photos: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine