No stopping Silvia: Biasi turns struggles to success

At the age of five, Silvia Biasi of Italy lost her right hand and part of her arm in an accident with an agricultural machine, but that did not stop her from playing volleyball, since the day she was introduced to the sport her love for it never faltered.

She was once told that she could not play the sport, but she was internally driven by that love to chase her dreams, which was also the inspiration of her book called ‘Volevo solo giocare a pallavolo’ or ‘All I wanted was to play volleyball’.

“When I started playing the game, someone told me you can’t play volleyball because you don’t have a hand and this is the resounding message of the book is ‘I just want to play volleyball’, and the Paralympic Games is what happens when you dream something so hard,” Biasi explained.

She was very much involved with the able-bodied discipline and took up playing at age 12 and coached an amateur team as an adult. While she was coaching, a referee took notice of her prosthesis and offered her a chance to try playing sitting volleyball. In 2017, Biasi played in her first competition.

In an excerpt from her book, Biasi recalls her struggles with her disability and how she took the courage to overcome it and led by example to realise her dream.

“I play volleyball without a hand. I lost my right hand. Yes, it’s just a right hand. And when you play volleyball, missing a hand is not an insignificant matter. And people will point that out to you! The secret is not to be discouraged. And I have never lost my courage.”
– Silvia Biasi

From her many struggles, Biasi’s life has also been full of contentment from her successes such as their fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Championship and the silver medal at the European Championship, which was also their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The road to Tokyo from the preparations to reaching the Paralympic Village was also tough, but the Italian libero sees this like any other competition bounded by rules.

“It was very hard because we thought of the Paralympic Village in a different way, and it was harder to live this pandemic lifestyle. We have to understand that all rules here are for our safety and we need to respect them.”

Italy won their debut match against Japan and then lost the next one to Canada. Their next opponents are Brazil, the Rio 2016 bronze medallists.

“We will try to play our best and try to win. The first thing we need to do is to train hard. The next step is to discover what we can do against teams like Brazil, and then try to improve our serve and our attack,” Biasi said.

Follow Silvia Biasi:
Facebook page