Matteo Pieropan, born in 1998, is a Paralympic athlete from Arzignano in the province of Vicenza. He fell in love with sport at an early age and, like many of his peers, started by playing football, later turning to swimming and mixed martial arts. He loved experimenting with different disciplines but didn’t neglect his studies, managing to finish high school. After graduation, he enrolled at the military academy in Modena. But before he could complete his training, he had a serious accident. On 21 June 2020, a dive into a swimming pool while out with friends left him with incomplete tetraplegia. The hospitalisation and rehabilitation were very long and he was discharged after eight months, the following February.
But what did he do as soon as he got out of hospital? He ran into the mountains and tried Paralympic cross-country skiing. It was just the beginning of a new life that once again put sport at the centre of everything. Matteo tried athletics, then met Pierino Dainese and decided to train on a handbike and compete in his first races. At the same time he joined Obiettivo3 and became part of the ObiettivoSci project. He wants to pursue both disciplines, skiing and paracycling. Since he had to leave the military academy, he enrolled in a degree in exercise science and also resumed, albeit sporadically, an old love affair with the drums. With the will to overcome all obstacles without ever losing his trademark smile.