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BETTELLA Francesco
Sport Para swimming
NPC Italy   
Place of BirthPadua, ITA
Height1.70 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Impaired muscle power
Origin of Impairment
S1, SB1, SM1
Further Personal Information
Padua, ITA
Athlete, Engineer, Mechanic
Italian, English
Higher education
Mechanical Engineering - University of Padua: Italy
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began attending swimming classes at age three, and started competing in Para swimming in 2004 in Padua, Italy.
Why this sport?
He was encouraged to take up the sport by his father and his physiotherapist.
Club / Team
Civitas Vitae Sport Education [ITA] / GS Fiamme Oro [ITA] / Padovanuoto [ITA]:
Name of coach
Federica Fornasiero [Padovanuoto], ITA; Moreno Gada [Padovanuoto]
Senior International Debut
Competing for
European Championships
Reykjavík, ISL
General Interest
Ciccio (, 30 May 2017)
Cars. (, 10 Jan 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two silver medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Most influential person in career
His coach. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Hero / Idol
US basketball player Michael Jordan. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Hard work." (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017)
Awards and honours
He received the Golden Necklace for Sports Merit from the Italian Olympic Committee [CONI] in 2017. (, 19 Dec 2017)

In 2017 he was presented with a Gold Medal of Athletic Value by CONI. (, 01 Aug 2017)

In 2016 he received the Official Order of Merit of the Italian Republic from the Italian president. (, 19 Dec 2016)

He was named the 2016 Athlete of the Year in Padua, Italy. (, 30 May 2017)

He received the 2016 Silver Gattamelata Award at the Padua Sports Gala in recognition of his sporting achievements during 2015/16. (, 19 Feb 2017)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 20 Aug 2018)
He was diagnosed with axonal neuropathy at age three. The condition first caused him to lose the strength in his legs, and then in his arms. (, 28 Aug 2012)
Other information
He served as the president of the organising committee of the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series event in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. He also took part in the event as an athlete. "It is a great challenge as this time the event is not only 'just' the national championships, but one of the six World Series. I had never imagined doing it in Lignano Sabbiadoro or in Italy." (, 21 May 2018)

His life was featured in a short film titled 'Francesco' that was produced by the research centre Fabrica, a branch of Benetton Group. In the film he talks about his early days when he was diagnosed with his illness, to his life in swimming and his passion for cars that helped him to become an engineer. (, 10 Jan 2018;, 09 Dec 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
5 2012 200m Freestyle S2 5:02.96
7 2012 100m Freestyle S2 2:31.17
Heat 2012 50m Backstroke S2 1:13.76
Heats 2012 50m Freestyle S2 1:13.86
2 2016 100m Backstroke S1 2:27.06
2 2016 50m Backstroke S1 1:12.49
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
8 2010 50m Freestyle S2 1:14.26
3 2010 200m Freestyle S2 5:13.33
5 2010 50m Backstroke S2 1:13.56
4 2010 100m Freestyle S2 2:30.79
8 2013 200m Freestyle S3 5:18.39
8 2013 50m Backstroke S2 1:14.13
5 2013 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 20 Points 3:15.00
5 2013 100m Freestyle S2 2:29.19
1 2017 50m Backstroke S1 1:13.06
1 2017 100m Backstroke S1 2:30.69
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
2 2016 200m Freestyle S1 5:05.70
2 2016 100m Backstroke S1 2:26.63
10 2016 50m Freestyle S2 1:15.74
2 2016 50m Backstroke S1 1:11.27
3 2018 50m Backstroke S2 1:10.53
4 2018 200m Freestyle S2 5:11.15
4 2018 100m Backstroke S2 2:30.44