Do you think that life has handed you the sourest lemons?
Silke Pan turned adversities (an uneasy family situation during her childhood, an eating disorder, and a fall that bound her to a wheelchair) to her advantage. She is like a phoenix that rose from the ashes and with her positive attitude and infectious energy she inspires anyone she meets.
As a trapeze and contortionist artist, Silke performed in circuses and on cruises around the world until an unfortunate accident changed her life. She fell from a trapeze and broke her back. After two weeks in a coma, she woke up only to learn that she would never be able to walk again.
While in the hospital, Silke bought her first handbike. Six years later she created a world record in a handbike marathon and became a world vice-champion. This summer she accomplished “Raid Pyrénéen” an 800 km long track through the Pyrénées mountains in France.
As if that was not enough, she became “Certified Balloon Artist” and together with her husband created a Canniballoon company. In 2016 they created the World’s largest balloon labyrinth in Allaman, Switzerland.
When EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) contacted her to test their powered exoskeleton (external skeleton that supports and protects body), Silke saw it as an opportunity to walk again. Two years after she started testing it, they won Cybathlon, an international competition for bionic athletes.
This year Silke published her first book “A la conquête de nouveaux sommets” (Conquering New Heights) which is available in Payot libraries in French.
This video was recorded in VOISINS coworking space: http://www.voisins.ch/
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