The Sports Bay


Girl Born With No Legs Defies the Odds to Become Gymnastics Champion

A girl who was born without legs has defied all expectations to become a champion gymnast.

The unbelievable story of Jen Bricker began 27 years ago when, after being born with a genetic defect, she was adopted into the Bricker family.

The family had only one rule – never use the word ‘can’t’.

This positive outlook allowed Jen to take up a hobby that many others in her position would have thought impossible.

Starting off by practising on a trampoline, by the time she was a teenager Jen was the tumbling champion in her home state of Illinois.

But this wasn’t the only one of Jen’s dreams to come true.

Like many young gymnasts her age, she was always enthralled by the US gymnast Dominique Moceanu, who won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics.

When, at the age of 16, she asked her adoptive parents about her background, it set her on a path that would lead her to an incredible revelation.

She said: ‘[My mother] handed a document and said, “You’re never going to believe this, but your biological last name is Moceanu.”

‘As soon as the words left her lips, I knew what it meant; my childhood idol was my sister.’

A few years later, and after writing several letters to her biological sister, Jen finally met Dominique and discovered she was also an auntie.

‘Since then we’ve become close and I feel like a piece of the jigsaw of my life has fallen into place,’ she said.

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