Stef Reid is a Paralympic sprinter and long jump World Record holder who competes for Great Britain. She is a five-time world record holder, reigning world champion (London 2017 long jump), and triple Paralympic medallist in the long jump (2016, 2012) and 200m sprint (2008).
She has an honours degree in biochemistry, and away from the track Stef works as a broadcaster, motivational speaker, actor, and model. She was also a finalist on Celebrity MasterChef 2018.
Born in New Zealand to a Scottish father and an English mother, Stef Reid grew up in Toronto, Canada where she moved to when she was four years old. She then moved to Dallas, Texas with her Canadian husband before settling back in the UK in 2010.
Stef’s talent and passion for sport were spotted early, and at 12 she was already dreaming of playing rugby on the world stage. However, age 15, she was involved in a boating accident, suffering severe propeller lacerations. Her life was saved by a surgeon in Toronto who managed to stem the blood flow, however, as a consequence her right foot had to be amputated.
Sports-loving before the accident, Stef played rugby union but encountered difficulties after her amputation with referees who felt the artificial leg could injure other players. So her focus shifted from sports to her academic studies, and she graduated as valedictorian earning a full scholarship to Queen’s University in Canada to study biochemistry.
While at Queen’s, Stef joined the university athletics team “just to see how fast she could still run”. After joining the campus track and field team, three years later she competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in 2008. Upon graduation, she decided to put her plans of medical school aside and focus on her childhood dream of being a professional athlete.
With the option to compete for three countries - based on her of place of birth, the nationality of her parents and her place of residence - Stef formerly represented Canada in the Beijing Paralympic Games, finishing third in the 200m and fifth in the long jump.
Stef took the decision to compete for Great Britain soon after the Paralympics in 2008, deciding to follow the nationality of her parents. It wasn't an easy choice but one that has been vindicated with some impressive results.
She spent a year out of competition in 2009 in order to complete her switch and has fully embraced British life, training at Loughborough University. Her husband, Brent Lakatos, is an elite wheelchair racer and won 3 silver medals for Canada at the 2012 Paralympics. He is also world record holder, seven-time Paralympic medallist, and seven-time world champion
Away from the track, Stef Reid made her modelling debut fronting Debenhams’ Diversity Campaign, modelling clothes with the aim to challenge perceived norms of the fashion industry.
Stef worked with inclusively campaigner Caryn Franklin MBE. Following on from this, Stef was invited to join the illustrious ‘Models of Diversity' group, with whom she modelled clothing at the ‘Time for Change' catwalk, as well as at the Ideal Christmas Home Show.
Her standing in the industry has seen her invited to speak to students at London College of Fashion to talk about her experiences as a sportswoman and a model.
Stef was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for services to Paralympic Sport.