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This Teen Model Just Ran Her Third Triathlon

Madeline Stuart continues her rise as more than just a model.

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This is Madeline Stuart.

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Madeline is an 18-year-old model who is changing the way society looks at both the modeling industry and Down syndrome.

Madeline's profile has exploded since she appeared at New York Fashion Week. Here she is at the Melbourne Cup last week - her first ever - where she raised money for the Endeavour Foundation, which helps support Australians living with a disability.

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At the end of last month, Madeline competed in the Noosa Triathlon - just a week after walking the runway at Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival.

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The triathlon was made up of five kilometre cycle, a 300 metre swim, and a one kilometre run. Maddie has been open about her love of sport and athletics - particularly cheerleading - which she credits with helping her lose 20 kilos earlier this year.

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Madeline crossed the finish line, and although she didn't beat last year's time, she said she "had a ball."

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The model was also representing InsideOutside Dance Ensemble, which hopes to offer free dance classes to people with disability.

"We have changed things," Madeline's mother told the Daily Mail. "You can see now there are so many more people with disabilities in the spotlight."

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Madeline will be celebrating her 19th birthday on Friday and there is a charity "Jelly Run" planned for the big day, with people with special needs getting free access to the festivities.

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Madeline will be working with charity I Can I Will, which pairs people with special needs with a "Senior Mentor," aiming to encourage belief and raise their self-confidence.

Madeline is the ambassador for both I Can I Will and InsideOutide Dance Ensemble, which offer free programs for people with disabilities focussing on inclusion, fitness and fun. As of January next year they'll be offering eight classes per week in dance at Ipswich, Brisbane CBD, Jindalee and Caboolture and will be increasing to 14 classes per week by the end of 2016.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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