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But her opponents might.” Dixon stands tall and elegant against the stark white backdrop, her left leg muscular and shapely.

Her right leg is missing, because she was born a congenital amputee.

“People assumed I was very confident in my body, traipsing around in a bathing suit,” says Dixon.

“But that’s very different from being considered a sexual being by someone you’re attracted to.” For years, Dixon was afraid that potential partners would be disgusted by her body. I just didn’t think anyone would want to have sex with me,” she says.

“It looks like I was designed to have one leg, like a mermaid’s body,” she says.

Dixon looks every bit the poised, self-possessed Olympian, and she was—except for one area of her life in which she felt painfully insecure.

But accessing the world of dating and sex felt terrifying.“So I did what a lot of marginalized people do—I pretended I wasn’t different.” Related: By the time she was ready to be sexually active, Trace was no longer in a wheelchair.But she was using two canes to walk, and still had to contend with bladder and bowel issues.Because she is missing her leg, she also has only half a bum and half a pelvis, and she was worried that her vagina was disfigured—she’d never compared hers to anyone else’s.Growing up in Brampton, Ont., Dixon’s sex education came entirely from friends (and one incident where, at her mom’s insistence, she and her older brother practiced rolling condoms onto bananas).

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