Celine van Till – International Sportswoman | Survivor

Credit: Celine van Till

Background – Celine van Till

Celine van Till, an international dressage rider, was the victim of a terrible horse accident in 2008. After a long coma, she remains heavily disabled.

With an unflinching determination and a high-level competitive attitude, Celine recovered and then came back to life thanks to her horses. She never forgot her teenager Olympic dream. Her mare Amanta brought Celine all the way to the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

Celine recovered and then came back to life thanks to her horses.

2018 will be remembered as the year of a major change: Celine decided to convert her sports career from riding to athletics, a sport she will compete in at the international level for 4 years. Her decision to stop athletics for health reasons led her to start cycling in 2022.

Resuming competition was totally unexpected: I was able to combine sport with my humanitarian mission to Mozambique while also running as MP for the Geneva parliament (Grand Conseil) under the PLR banner. I feel I have found the perfect balance in order to perform, and my successful results speak for themselves.”

A Winning Start – 2 wins to start with

Four months of focused training, which was her body’s requirement to adapt to this new sport discipline, coupled with an intensive medical monitoring, allowed her to acquire a very solid foundation. She was not starting from scratch: her previous experience and international career as a sportswoman in both horse riding and athletics have of course played a large part in her conversion and achieving top level again. She was back on the podium in Marina di Massa, Italy. In addition to her initial objectives to just be safe and enjoy myself, she was able to get an excellent ranking in the time trial event with her now cycling at a speed of more than 30km/h on the tricycle. These outstanding results have enabled her to project herself into the future, starting with several international competitions and her first World Cup rounds.

Candidacy as Member of the Geneva Parliament

Considering her activism, dedication to others and continuous engagement to make things move, many people had predicted Celine would one day get involved in politics. Shortly after her sudden finish with athletics sprinting, she was elected at the steering committee of the Geneva cantonal PLR party. This allowed her to participate in debates and gain a first hand experience in public life.

What was her motivation for getting into politics?

To put my efforts into a social policy which fosters freedom and autonomy as well as a consistent sports policy. I look forward to serving the citizens through my field knowledge and competencies. 

Celine’s Programme for 2022:

  • 22-24.04: Para-Cycling Cup Verona (ITA)
  • 02-09.05: UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup, Oostende (BEL)
  • 10-15.05: UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup, Elzach, Freiburg, Breisgau

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