Inspirational Wednesday: Italian para triathlete Veronica Yoko Plebani is the cover star of Vogue Italia January issue

Veronica Yoko Plebani became the January cover star of Vogue Italia. Elena Favilli interviewed her for the magazine. Veronica started with canoeing, then snowboarding, and is now a para triathlete with a bronze medal from Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Vogue photoshoot marks the first time Veronica’s body was photographed in all its complexity and not just because of its non-conforming aspects. Veronica became passionate about the sport when she was a child. She followed her father’s marathon races as a fan. At the age of 15, she caught meningitis and had to fight for her life. After four months spent in a hospital bed, she returned home in a wheelchair with large scars on most of her body and phalanxes of her hands and toes amputated. She says she does not see her body as a limitation, but rather as an instrument that allows her to do things. “I’ve done the most extraordinary things after my body underwent this transformation, so I’ve never hated it.”

Sport brings her joy and the feeling of achievement. She met the triathlon team at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and immediately liked the challenge of switching from swimming to biking and to running. At the time when she could not even walk a kilometer. She sees herself as an athlete first and foremost and wants to help other young athletes with disabilities. “That illness was just a passage in life, like so many other things, and for me, it is important to show that there have been difficult moments, that they can arise, but that the attitude in facing them is always one of courage and hunger for life.”



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