The paralympic athlete Giorgio Napoli and the strength of disability

Giorgio Napoli_Paralympic athlet

Giorgio Napoli is a student and a paralympic athlete. He was also a sports lover, until the night that changed his life two years ago. «I was so tired while driving back home from my workplace», Giorgio says. When he was crushed in a car accident, he thought he had only broken a leg: «Maybe I’ll spend two months with a cast and then I’ll be ok».

But when Giorgio woke up after a day in a medical induced coma, he found himself without his right leg. «I’ve always been a sporty person» he says «if it wasn’t for the amputation, the doctors said, it would have been impossible to continue to play tennis or walk or run, like I did before». So it was in sports and in the loving people around him that Giorgio found his way back to normalcy, even with his new disability.

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 Finding out what’s hidden in yourself
Paralympic athlete
Giorgio Napoli whith Polha Varese team on the running truck

«I found out I am a very competitive person» he jokes. «I remember a day in Bologna during my rehabilitation months. Some friends had come to visit me. Then they would go to town. I was determined to go with them, walking on my prosthesis. So I trained all week to reach the goal». He walked for seven km that day. In the end he was really tired, but at the same time really proud of himself «That’s how I feel when I run».

Giorgio started to train as a professional athlete a month ago, when he managed to obtain his first sport prosthesis. «It has been really hard to get in shape after a long time». Giorgio is currently training with his coach Stefano Benini at Polha Varese, a sports society that assists disabled people. He dreams of going to the paralympics, but first he has to learn how to run again.

The one accomplished by Giorgio is a feat. «He gave sport a new meaning that allowed him to overcome his trauma», says Dr. Stefano Oriani, the psychotraumatologist of the ARP association (associate clinic of clinical psychology in Milan). «The first reaction, for those who have undergone such a traumatic experience, is to ask themselves how they can go on. Enhancing the sporting passion, on the other hand, favors the elaborative aspect of trauma, and allows you to activate the resources you do not know you have», concludes Dr. Oriani.

Alessandro Ossola, paralympic athlete of the Italian Athletics National Team and president of Bionic People
The importance of sport

Alessandro Ossola, paralympic athlete of the Italian Athletics National Team, also emphasizes the value of physical exercise. «Sport, for those who have suffered an amputation, is as important as the loved ones around you», he says. First of all, it improves the physical structure, often plagued by additional physical problems compared to an able-bodied person. «Then it helps mentally, because training requires consistency. You have goals to achieve that give you joy and the desire to fight», explains the paralympic athlete; that every day tries to erase the sadness from the face of the disabled people. 

In fact, Ossola is not just a sportsman. He is also president of Bionic People, a non-profit association which, with its 38 testimonials in 14 regions, tells the story of those who have found the strength to react. «For those with a disability, I recommend to follow us on the website and on social networks. Because seeing other people exactly like you, moving forward in their lives, can give you the energy you need». But the association is not limited to providing psychological support. 

paralympic athlet
Giorgio whith Polha Varese team and the famous paralympic athlet, Giusy Versace

It also tries to change the approach towards disabled people by increasing inclusion. «It is essential to change the idea that people have about disability. A disabled person should not be treated with pity», Ossola says. For this, Bionic People goes to the most fertile lands, such as schools and companies. There he carries out D&I paths, that is of diversity and inclusion.

Life goes on better

Accompanying them in this mission is Giorgio, who is part of the association. They want to show that life goes on despite everything that has happened to them. They can still do great things. «I experienced it on my own skin. You can go back to doing everything and there is no reason to get down. On the contrary, you live it better: you discover that you have a strength you didn’t think you had».

Giorgio on his way to Paris paralympics in 2024


Giorgia Colucci

Classe 1998, vivo tra Varese e Milano, ma mi appassiona il mondo. Curiosa su tutto, scrivo di ambiente, di diritti e di casa mia su Il Fatto Oltre a collaborare con Master X, parlo di rock ai microfoni di Radio IULM e di Europa a quelli di Europhonica. Per non farmi mancare niente, anche di cinema su Nel 2018 ho pubblicato "Vorrei mettere il mondo in carta", una raccolta di poesie per I Quaderni del bardo Edizioni

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