Moving Forward with Paralympian Beatrice Vio

This post is in celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout March, we’ll be highlighting the stories of women doing extraordinary things around the world.

Paralympian Beatrice Vio’s (@bebe_vio) relationship with fencing started at age 5. “It was love at first sight,” says the gold medalist, now 20, from Venice, Italy. In 2008, Beatrice contracted meningitis, which resulted in the amputation of both legs from the knee and both arms from the forearm, with severe scarring to her face and body. “Getting back into fencing was the only thing I had on my mind,” she says. “Some people said it was impossible, but I did it!” Today, Beatrice competes in wheelchair fencing, using a special prosthetic device, created by her father, to hold her foil (a fencing weapon). “In wheelchair fencing, you can’t move backward — you can only attack,” she says. “This is the same thing that you have to do in life, and I always do.”