Switzerland’s first Paralympic blade runner – lost both her legs below the knee when 16 years old
Abassia Rahmani is Switzerland’s first female blade runner. The first time she tried to run with blades gave her back the sense of freedom she had last felt before losing both her legs when she was only sixteen years old. Two years after gaining this sense of freedom, she took part in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics. She crossed the 200m finish line with a time of 27.86 seconds, narrowly missing the bronze medal.
Abassia Rahmani, whose father had moved to Switzerland from Algeria, was born in Zurich but grew up with her older brother in a small Swiss village. She participated in various sports from an early age. These include snowboarding, athletics, horse riding, and gymnastics. Sadly, in 2009, she contracted bacterial meningitis and had to have both her legs amputated below the knee as a result. She did not allow this to rule her life, however. She took started competing with other para-athletes only five years later, winning her first medal at the Para European Championships in Grosseto in 2016. This achievement was shortly followed by placing fourth in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.
A commerce graduate fluent in multiple languages, Abassia Rahmani worked in international sales until 2018 when she started her professional sports career besides studying sports management.
Although she spends most of her time at the track or in the gym, Abassia Rahmani has a balanced lifestyle and enjoys time taking part in action sports, spending time with her family and friends, or listening to music and going to concerts. She is also an avid reader and loves traveling.
As a speaker, Abassia Rahmani tells the story of how she overcame her disability and how she went about doing so. She lives in Switzerland and speaks German, French, and English.