BBC News

Lea Volpe: 'Why are you calling me inspirational?'

How do disabled women deal with well-intentioned but patronising comments?

Leanora Volpe is a London-based athlete and member of Great Britain's Paraclimbing Team. Five years ago she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - a condition which severely affects her coordination and balance.

As a top athlete, she knows people look up to her as a role model, but she is uncomfortable with being called “an inspiration” just because of her disability.

She says: “I don’t like to be defined solely as a disabled athlete. I’m just an athlete.”

Training and competition footage was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic.

Produced and edited by Alice Gioia.

You can hear more of Lea's story in The Conversation on the BBC World Service.