Since my childhood, my interests have been turned towards acrobatic sports, dance, theater and artistic expression in all its forms.
I started with gymnastics on apparatus and then became part of the Swiss national diving and trampoline team (Swiss champion). In order to acquire a maximum of skills for my future profession as an artist, I did internships in circus schools and trained daily in all circus disciplines.
After graduating from high school, I continued my training at the National Circus School in Berlin where I graduated in handstand, contortion and trapeze.
From 1992 to 2007 I performed in circuses, amusement parks, cruise ships, gala evenings and theaters all over Europe and was soon noticed by Erik Nock (a great circus dynasty since the 17th century) who became my exclusive impresario for 8 years.
During my multiple shows, I met Didier Dvorak, my future husband, with whom I formed the Duo Robin Street. We performed together under different stage names, including Mini Tell and Taglia Tell or Jungle Joke.
In September 2007, after twenty years of daily training and a successful career as an acrobat, I fell from the trapeze, broke my 10th and 11th dorsal vertebrae and became a paraplegic.
This marked the beginning of a life in a wheelchair.
At first, my husband and I had to choose a new profession. With Didier, we created a decoration company for events named “Canniballoon Team”
In parallel to my new profession, I stood in close contact with sport by practicing handbike. In 2012 I asked for my license and launched myself in a competition career.
I fought in races such as European Cups and World Cups and won some beautiful victories, including the best world time in the marathon in 2013, the speed record in four major marathons, the Giro d'Italia, vice world champion in 2015, a bronze medal at the world championships and European champion in 2021
At the end of the 2016 season, after 5 years of elite sport I decided to momentarily turn away from UCI races. Disagreements within the German federation for which I was racing pushed me to turn to more personal and rewarding projects. This was the beginning of the alpine ultra-paracycling with the ascent of more than 80 mythical passes in the Swiss Alps, the Maritime Alps and the Pyrenees.
The highlight of summer 2019 was the Tour des Lacs, 1000 km + 30 Swiss lake crossings in para-triathlon mode (handbike, racing chair, swimming and bellyak)
However, at the beginning of 2017 I resumed international races outside the UCI (marathons, Giro d'Italia) with an Italian team, while waiting to obtain the authorization to race under the Swiss colors following my naturalization in 2018.
The need to share my experience pushed me to train in coaching and to develop my activity as a speaker.
With my husband we wrote a book and produced two documentary films of my sporting challenges.
I participated in several development and research operations:
In July 2016, for the first time after 9 years and despite a complete paraplegia, I stood up and walked thanks to my cooperation with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, which is developing a new generation exoskeleton, adapted for the first time also for children.
With them I won a 4th place and a qualification for the final in our first competition, an obstacle race, the Cybathlon, a competition for disabled athletes authorized to use bionic assistance technologies. One year later we took 1st place, three times in a row, at the Cybathlon Experience in Düsseldorf, Germany, 2nd place at the famous International Cybathlon in 2020 and 1st place at the Global Innovation Challenge in 2021. The development continues and we hope to bring freedom and independence to a large number of people with reduced mobility.
I am committed to and actively support organizations that defend the rights of disabled people, children and animals, including
the Morija association (of which I am a sponsor)
The association 4every1 (of which I am an honorary sponsor)
Handicap International Switzerland (member of the board of directors since 2017)
The year 2020 was the year of my rebirth!
It is thanks to my experience and my various sports achievements that I was able to invent a unique technique to balance myself on my hands again, an acrobatic discipline that I used to practice before the accident. After 14 years of sitting in my wheelchair, I am back on stage as a circus performer!
At the end of the 2021 season I officially announced my resignation from the Swiss National Handbike Team and retired from the world of competition to devote myself to my return to the stage. I celebrated my first circus performance in December 2021 and my international debut at the Salieri Circus Awards in September 2022, exactly 15 years after my fall from the trapeze.
By opening this path I became, it seems, the first Paraplegic Handstand Performer. A new challenge that I am looking forward to facing with all my energy and devotion.