Thanks to an article published on Panorama I recently learnt – but I wish I did sooner – about Fabrizio Passetti, the only Italian to take part to the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship, which was held last September in La Jolla, California, one of the most popular beach break destinations in the San Diego area.
Fabrizio, now just over thirty years old, has been passionate about surfing since he was a child. On his 18th birthday, however, he was involved in a serious accident that resulted in the amputation of one of his legs. He had to overcome fear and setbacks, but his perseverance paid off: after trying for several years, he eventually managed to get back on his surfboard and into the sea thanks to a prosthetic limb he had designed and built with his own hands.
Fabrizio was in Bali, trying to get back into surfing, when he met Wifi, a 4-year-old child who had lost the use of one leg due to an awful burn caused by the explosion of a gas bottle. He decided to help him out, setting up a fundraising network that enabled the boy to receive the medical care he so desperately needed. Nevertheless, Fabrizio doesn’t like to be called a hero and doesn’t consider himself special, even though many people would not agree.
In La Jolla, the location chosen for the first ever world championship dedicated to disabled surfers, Passetti challenged the most skilled athletes in the adaptive surfing field and, despite not qualifying in the quarter finals, he kept the morale high, announcing that he was definitely going to do it all again the following year.
Talking to Antonio Amorosi from Panorama about the new prosthetic limb, which will allow him to improve his performance, Fabrizio declared: “because I need to walk, but over and above, I need to be able to get into the sea”.
Enjoy the waves Fabrizio!