Meet the World Games Athletes: Clara Lehmkuhl

Clara on the court with a tennis racket swinging at the ball.
Clara Lehmkuhl training for the 2019 World Games.

Clara (known as Clari) is a fitness role model for the UAE team, as one of only three people with Down Syndrome in the world officially certified as a Zumba instructor. She has long been a trailblazer for inclusion—as a child her acceptance into a regular (not special) school was front-page news in their hometown of Alberton, South Africa.

Clara and her family moved to the UAE 12 years ago, where she has worked at a gym, plus four years in a secretarial job at NYU Abu Dhabi. When she is not training for her upcoming appearance in the UAE’s tennis team at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, Clari keeps busy teaching Zumba teachers.