Teenage Rebel On Ice


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How 14-year-old Mia Thorne from Cilfynydd, in South Wales became ranked 7th in the World in her novice ice-dance category which could see her qualify for the Paralympic Games. It's a story of teenage rebellion and proving people wrong about her disability.

When she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a form of brain damage that affects control over the right side of her body, her parents were told that she might never walk or talk. Mia's condition means that she is prone to dislocation of joints, chronic fatigue, and seizures, and she sometimes has to use a wheelchair. When She told her parents she wanted to ice skate their first reaction was to say ‘no' because of the risks, but Mia wouldn't let the matter lie. Eventually, her parents relented and Mia started having lessons in Cardiff. The intense exercise has a beneficial effect, counteracting the problems caused by her cerebral palsy.

News of Mia's talent spreads to the charity, Inclusive Skating who contacted her and gave her a chance to compete, but in the run-up to her first two competitions, the pandemic forces the closure of the ice rinks in Wales. Mia has to do all her training at home and online, but when travel restrictions are lifted, Mia nags her parents to take her to England where the ice rinks remained open for elite athletes and disability groups. The British International Inclusive Skating competition is moved on-line and Mia has to perform her routine in her kitchen. Mia's astonishing triumph sees her ranked 7th in the world in her novice category, and the doors open to the Paralympic Games and, an encounter with Torvil and Dean.

Presented by Tracy Harris whose son has cerebral palsy.
A Gritty Production for BBC Radio Wales produced by Chris Rushton

14-year-old Mia Thorne overcomes her cerebral palsy to win a UK ice-dance title.