July 23, 2024
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Victoria Pestana Giuricich is a 25 year rhythmic gymnast and model from South Africa.

This young lady has achieved sensational local and international titles and has worked with both South African and international coaches and creatives, who are embracing diversity and inclusion in the rhythmic gymnastics, fashion and modelling industries.

Victoria is indeed the super starlet of and in her phenomenal journey! Victoria is a professional with eloquence and she is focused and determined on pursuing her unequivocal dreams. She has a contagious laugh and a fabulous sense of humour! She is competitive, as well as a great team sport with a big and welcoming heart! Her perseverance and achievements continue to charm and “knock the socks off” everyone that has the privilege and honour of knowing, witnessing, working with and meeting her!

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The most recent of Victoria’s esteemed achievements and her first international spot on the podium in her rhythmic gymnastics’ career, was being awarded an overall Silver (second place) in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Junior Total at the 4th edition of the Down Syndrome International Gymnastics Organisation’s (DSIGO) World Games, held at Matsport Centre in Tshwane, South Africa.

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This event was proudly hosted by Gymnastics South Africa on the weekend of 23 – 24 September 2023. The occasion welcomed athletes from six nations, including South Africa, Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, Mexico and the USA.

Victoria’s apparatus categories include: Ball, Hoop, Clubs and Ribbon. Victoria achieved a Gold for her Hoop routine, Silver for both her Ball and Club routines and Bronze for her Ribbon routine. Victoria enjoys dancing with all of her apparatus equally, despite the varying elements of gymnastics, dance and calisthenics required. Rhythmic gymnasts need to be agile, flexible, dexterous, coordinated and strong.

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Victoria was the first rhythmic gymnast from Gauteng to ever compete at The Down Syndrome International Gymnastics Organisation’s World Games!

Victoria has been a rhythmic gymnast since 2018. The Covid pandemic and lock down which hit in 2020 was a lot tougher and lonelier for Victoria because she was not able to leave home at all, for her safe keeping. Having Down syndrome and being one of the higher risk individuals, with a weaker immune system meant that extra precautions needed to be taken. This did not stop nor hinder Victoria’s dedication to her career and dreams. Victoria continued her twice weekly rhythmic gymnastics sessions with her then coach via online meetings, as well as trained and worked on her Level 4 rhythmic dancing routines and element drills in any spare time.

In preparation for the Down Syndrome International Gymnastics Organisation’s World Championships, whilst on her European summer vacation, Victoria was hard at work and continued training in Italy at the Associazione Sportiva Udinese, which boasts two of Italy’s rhythmic gymnastics squad, who won Gold at the last Olympic Games.

In May 2023, Victoria was ecstatic to qualify for and was awarded her Junior Central Colours at the Central Gauteng Gymnastics Association (CGGA) Championships, becoming a member of the Central Gauteng Gymnastics District Team.

Victoria’s next big goals are set on her dream of competing at the 2nd Trisome Games being hosted in Antalya, Turkey from 19 – 26 March 2024.

Victoria endeavours to be an incredible example of a young lady who is working conscientiously and passionately towards achieving her goals and dreams, whilst whole-heartedly embracing her diversity.

Modelling Career

After finishing her schooling at Brescia House School in 2017, Victoria successfully completed a 6-month certified model training course through The Model Academy, South Africa. Victoria dreams of becoming an international commercial and catwalk model, following in the footsteps of Madeline Stuart, the first international super model with Down Syndrome from Australia.

In 2018, Victoria was sponsored by EVE (Empowered Versatile Enablement) to attend a garment design course with popular South African designer Isabelle Lotter at her SIES!Isabelle Studio. Under the mentorship of Isabelle, Victoria created 3 unique garment designs and was given the exceptional honour of showcasing her designs in her very own private debut show at South Africa Fashion Week in October of 2018.

In September 2019 Victoria jetted off to Milan after having been honoured with an illustrious invitation from M Missoni (a high-end Italian fashion house based in Varese, and known for its colourful knitwear designs) to be one of their promotional models for their up and coming show at Milan Fashion Week!

On the same trip to Italy, Victoria entered the Ragazza Cinema OK Cinecitta World Pageant in Rome. Victoria was awarded the “Miss Cinecitta World 2019 Special Award” which was an award given in memory of a well-known Italian film director. During the pageant, Victoria danced on stage with popular Maurizo In!

She loves doing drama too and being on stage and performing comes naturally to her.

In February 2020, Victoria was a finalist in the Top Model South Africa Diversity category. This is the biggest platform for new models in South Africa and is affiliated with Top Model Worldwide.

The Diversity category definitely hit South Africa by storm as models with varied abilities were able to enter for the first time. Each of the 11 Diversity models were honoured with the “Top Model South Africa Diversity” title at the extravagant and spectacular Grand Finale at Sun Arena Time Square.

It really is extremely refreshing and encouraging that the modelling and fashion industries in South Africa are coming on board with the rest of the world and embracing the fact that beauty is indeed incredibly diverse, thereby developing open minds and progressing towards inclusiveness, rather than the exclusive stigma the fashion industry has previously developed.

Victoria participates in community service through her church and has clocked 90 hours of volunteer work at Friends of Free Wildlife Animal Sanctuary in Johannesburg as an animal carer and chef! She is also a Casual Day ambassador-spreading goodwill on benefits of participating in South Africa’s biggest fundraising platform for disability.

Not just a model but an exceptional role model, Victoria is a wonderful example of a young lady who is working diligently and passionately towards achieving her goals and dreams in the fashion and modelling industry, as well as, in rhythmic gymnastics, whilst whole-heartedly embracing her diversity.

Her role-model lifestyle, commitment and achievements echo her motto: “You are enough! You have what it takes! Never stop smiling and shining!”

Friday the 20th October marks National Down syndrome Awareness Day, in honor of this national day, Down Syndrome South Africa stands united with the national community to shed light on the remarkable individuals with Down syndrome and the challenges they face every day.

 

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