Katia Aere, born in 1971, is originally from Spilimbergo, the city of mosaics in the province of Pordenone. She’s a registered nurse and married to Giuseppe. As a teenager she loved athletics, especially high jump and hurdling; she had to stop due to an ankle issue. In 2003, she developed a sudden autoimmune disease that weakened her and required extensive and complex treatment. Among the recommended treatments was aquatic therapy, which Katia initially refused because of her childhood phobia of water. But once she was persuaded to try it, her world turned upside down.
Katia learned to swim at 40, liked it, became a competitive swimmer and started sweeping the field, clearing record after record and racking up 28 Italian titles in the pool. And so she began to dream of the Paralympics. This dream became closer to reality when, in the summer of 2018, a dear friend took her to Maniago and introduced her to Alex Zanardi and the staff of Obiettivo3. The thrill of trying a handbike took her back almost 20 years. The feeling of the wind blowing in her face won her over, and convinced her to combine swimming with handbike training. In paracycling, she immediately made a name for herself by winning the national team and two bronze medals at the 2021 World Championships and the gold in the time trial at the Italian Championships in the same year. Her crowning achievement came in September 2021, when she won the bronze medal in the Paracycling road race at the Paralympics in Tokyo. In the same year, she won two bronze medals in the World Cups and eight in 2022.