Need a dose of inspiration and positivity to start the new year? Meet US Paralympian Sydney Collier. You’re going to love her.
Sydney’s story truly has to be heard to be believed. Sydney was living an active, horse-filled childhood when her very rare syndrome was discovered at a routine eye appointment. The next several years included experimental treatments and surgeries, devastating strokes, and resulted in her physical disability. All the while, she remained focused on finding ways to ride with her limited left side and left arm, which she semi-affectionately named Linda.
And ride, she did. Sydney earned a spot on the US Para Dressage team and was the youngest competitor at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France. At age 18, she won the 2016 US Para-dressage National Championships and became the youngest member in the equestrian portion of the 2016 Paralympics in Rio as a part of Team USA.
Sydney walks us through the constant hurdles, the seemingly perpetual changes to her body and her disability, and how she found ways to adapt and thrive at every turn (and even logistically, how to work with horses who are not familiar with para riding). She has become an outspoken advocate for riders with disabilities and para dressage, and finds ways to spread support and positivity to riders of all abilities, everywhere she goes.