21-years-old Swiss athlete Catherine Debrunner is preparing to become a primary school teacher but, currently on a gap year from her studies, she dedicates herself to high-level sport. After training hard for the Paralympics in Rio last summer, she secured a place in the national team.
As well as being a convivial, open-minded person interested in foreign languages and cultures, Catherine has also been a passionate and dedicated wheelchair racer for the last 13 years and now a Paralympic athlete.
Catherine says “Sport means a lot to me, I thrive on the challenge that every competition delivers. On the day everything has to be perfect to achieve the optimum performance and when it all goes well, it makes me ecstatic and gives me incredible self-confidence.”
Over her sporting career to date Catherine has won 12 Junior World Championship, won the ‘Athlete with the most Potential’ award in New York in 2008, achieved 5th and 8th placing in the Lyon, France, Championships in 2013, was a Silver medalist in the Doha Championships in 2015 and has held Swiss records over 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and won the European record over 800m in 2015.
The dream of winning a spot on the team has come true and, thanks to her dedication, she has been selected to participate in the 400m, 800m and 1.500m. The competition was fierce in Rio and Catherine did not reach the podiums this time. However, the 21-years-old Swiss still has a lot of time ahead to add others trophies to her list.
Catherine concludes, “Sponsorship from SALTO Systems and the free2move.org social project is fantastic, for with its financial help I can focus hard on training and really go all out to try and win more major titles and achieve my sporting goals."