The incredible story of Bebe Vio:
“Thanks technology, you improve my life”
Who is she?
Beatrice “Bebe” Maria Vio, the most popular Italian wheelchair
fencer, is a living example of how a terrible misfortune can be
transformed into a glorious destiny.
Born in Venice and raised in Mogliano Veneto, she won the Gold
Medal in the 2016 Paralympic Games based in Rio.
At the age of eleven, Bebe contracted a severe meningitis that
caused her the loss of both arms and legs and several face and
body scars. After three months of intense rehabilitation and thanks
to a prosthesis specifically designed for her, she could go back to
the love of her life, fencing: a discipline she had been practicing
since the age of five. He initially thought it was impossible to
continue racing in a wheelchair, but then humbly admitted how
extremely ignorant he was about the Paralympic world and
disability in general. From there she began her new life.
“How could that be possible?” you may wonder. No one, not
even her own parents, believed she could go back to hold the foil
with such agility. Well, all the credit belongs to Bebe, to her strength, optimism and spirit of
competition, but also to the lead of her two coaches, Federica Berton and Alice Esposito, that pushed
her in 2010 to take part in her first wheelchair fencing competition, becoming the first athlete in the
world to pull fencing with prosthetic arms.
Today the Paralympic champion, happy for bionic limbs, jokes on social media:
“I’ll show you new hands and feet!”
Bebe Vio says she would not have improved his life without the incredible evolution of technology in
recent years. These prostheses are for everyday life and are added to those used to hold the foil, where
the weapon fits directly into the forearm. She also uses others which, however, only make the gesture
of opening and closing the hand, with the opposing fingers. In these they all move independently.
Bebe on social media has also launched a survey for prosthetic hands, wearing two types: “There is an
important choice – she says – you have to understand what color to make them, whether white or
black. Not just for the hands, but if you have any suggestions for the type of cradle too”. Even if she
later confesses that she has already made up his mind, pointing to the white ones.
They also have a special name: “BeBeionic”, which recalls Beatrice’s nickname and the possibility of
being bionic. Also in this way of being happy for new hands and feet, Bebe knows how to excite. A
Maria Catena and Mattia Ceraso
I.I.S. “L. SCIASCIA” IVB Classico