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7 décembre 2018 - General

Disability in sport, a strength above all


With the rise of sports competitions, the disability sports has evolved significantly since the birth of the Paralympic Games in 1960. Portraits of three athletes who have made their disability an asset.

Move mountains to better climb them

Philippe Ribière was born in Martinique, with the Rubenstein-Taby syndrome, which causes him physical malformations. Far from complaining, Philippe Ribière was able to stand out with his enthusiasm and impressive mental strength. Proof of it is, he is the first disabled professional climber.

Philippe Ribière
Philippe Ribière

It all starts when he was refused by a bike club in 1995 because of his disability. But it's a week later that he joins a climbing club and the adventure begins.

His first competition took place the same year when he participated in the championships of France Jeunes in Buis-les-Baronnies. Subsequently, he created the Handi-Grimpe in 2003 and won the bronze medal at the Arco World Championships in 2011. Specialist block (climbing practiced on natural rocks measuring between 1 and 4 meters), Philippe Ribière regrows without ceases its limits. It is a beautiful climb and a great victory for this athlete who has only 20% validity in the arms. Today, the climber does not live completely from his passion but from Disabled Allowances. In addition to his activity, Philippe Ribière made his first film Wild One, in which he wanted to show that his disability was born a force that inspired him with confidence and respect. His story inspires courage, willingness and the ability to overcome the impossible.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Invites Paralympic Champion in Magazine

This is a first for the American magazine! Brenna Huckaby is the first Paralympic athlete to pose in a swimsuit for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the annual jersey edition of the US sports magazine.

Brenna Huckaby
Brenna Huckaby

From an early age, Brenna Huckaby practices high level gymnastics, but in 2010, when she was 14 years old, doctors detected her osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. She must have a leg amputated. A year later, she discovered a passion for snowboarding and will begin competitions in 2013.

Indeed, in addition to her good physique, the young woman has a number of medals in her record: after competing at the recent Pyeonchang Paralympic Games in South Korea, she won two gold medals at the Snowboard World Championships .

The 22-year-old American took up the challenge of posing in a swimsuit with her prosthesis to send a message to all women: "It is very rare, even exceptional, to see a disabled woman pose in a sexy swimsuit. she explains. I want to help change the negative image that we have disabilities. I want other women, regardless of body, to know that they are powerful and sexy. " A beautiful message that should inspire a lot.

Resilience through disability

If we had to talk about tenacity and courage, Axel Allétru would be an inspiring model.

It all started with an accident during a race at the 2010 Motocross World Championships in Latvia. A noise he still remembers and a verdict a few hours later: Axel Allétru is 20 years old and is a paraplegic.

Axel Allétru
Axel Allétru

After titles of multiple European Champion and Junior World Champion of BMX, then professional rider of motocross, many dreams collapsed overnight. After a long visit to a rehabilitation center and prostheses, the doctors are convinced that he will never walk again and offer him a wheelchair rehab. But Axel Allétru is determined and thwarts the prognoses: by training secretly several times a day with the help of his parents and an "extraordinary" mind, he crosses several barriers. From the wheelchair, through the walker to the crutches, Axel Allétru walks back. Subsequently, he sets his sights on another sport: swimming. He then practices high level swimming until joining the French Swimming Federation Handisport. With the goal of competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, his dream has unfortunately not materialized. Involved, a request for change of its category during the last selection tests, in which his physical abilities can not be up to the required level.

Beside swimming, Axel Allétru rides in buggy, a discipline that looks like motocross but on four wheels this time. Thus, in 2016, he took part in the "Champions race" in Pont-de-Vaux where he won second place by fighting again against able-bodied people. Indeed, Axel Allétru aims to win the Grand Dakar 2020.

Today as a speaker, this sportsman gives us a beautiful lesson of humility and courage in the face of the trials of life.

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