'You get to choose who you are' - Kiwi paraclimber ignores life-changing injury to compete on world stage

Source: 1News

Many athletes know the pain of having to come back from an injury, but paraclimber Rachel Maia has bounced back from a life changing setback to reach the top of her sport.

At the age of 16, Maia fell and shattered one ankle and broke the other, leaving her unable to walk.

After 18 years away from climbing, Maia made a triumphant return, going from rookie to representative in less than a year.

She is now heading to the world championships in Austria.

"The world will give you negativity. They will say negative things, but you get to choose who you are," she told 1 NEWS.

"That can be 'empowered' and 'capable' and 'willing to give it a try'. It doesn't have to be labels like 'you can't' or 'crippled', or 'invalid' or 'this isn't possible'.

"Anything's possible. Adapt. Defy. Learn by failing, learn by trying."