Lauren Steadman: Who is the Strictly Come Dancing star, Paralympic triathlon medallist and former Portsmouth University student? 

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A Paralympian and former Portsmouth University student Lauren Steadman is staring in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing. 

The paratriathlete was almost dropped by her partner in the official launch show on Saturday (September 8). 

Former Portsmouth University student Lauren Steadman with Strictly dance partner AJ Pritchard. Picture: BBC/PA Wire

Former Portsmouth University student Lauren Steadman with Strictly dance partner AJ Pritchard. Picture: BBC/PA Wire

The latest series of Strictly Come Dancing will waltz onto our television screens this coming weekend. 

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But who is Lauren Steadman? Here is all you need to know: 

When and where was she born? 

Lauren was born in Peterborough on December 18, 1992. She was born with her low right arm missing. 

How did she get into sport? 

She started to compete in triathlons after her uncle, who was a triathlete, suggested she try it out. 

Lauren started her sporting career in swimming at the age of 11, with her first international competition at age 13 in Denmark.

Which Paralympics has she competed in? 

She first competed in the 2008 games in Beijing, as well as at London 2012 – competing in the swimming events. 

Lauren then switched to the paratriathlon for the 2016 games in Rio – and won a silver medal. 

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Why did she switch events? 

The paratriathlon was not introduced into the Paralympics until the 2016. 

What has she won during her career? 

Lauren won bronze medals at the European Para Swimming Championships in Reykjavik in 2009 and Berling in 2011. 

She has also won gold at the World Para Swimming Championships in Rio in 2009. 

In 2014 she became the World Champion Paratriathlete in Edmonton, Canada.

At the 2016 Olympics she won a silver medal in the paratriathlon, finishing behind Grace Norman of the USA. 

What did she study at Portsmouth University? 

Lauren studied Psychology here in Portsmouth and graduated with a first class degree in 2014. 

Not content with the one degree, she then studied and completed a Master’s degree in Business and Management. 

During her time at Portsmouth University, Lauren became a member of Portsmouth Northsea and Portsmouth Athletics Club. 

Who is her partner on Strictly? 

Lauren will be partnered up with dancer AJ Pritchard – who first joined the show in 2016.