11341-Rafik Arabat photo

Rafik Arabat



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

La Courneuve, FRA
Arabic, French

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began powerlifting in 2004. Prior to that he did swimming, archery and fencing, among other sports.
Why this sport?
He originally began powerlifting to help with his mobility, and eventually became passionate about surpassing his limits. "It's the only time, other than when I am sleeping, that I can leave my wheelchair behind. When we lie down under the bar, the chair is forgotten and we are all equal."
Club / Team
ASIMC Gonesse: France
Name of coach
Alexis Querou [national]

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning bronze at the world championships in Hungary in 2015, and participating at the world championships in 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Athlete, 04 Dec 2017)
Most influential person in career
His physiotherapist JB Gebert who pushed him to take up the sport, and his family. (Athlete, 04 Dec 2017; Facebook page, 14 Jan 2019)
Hero / Idol
French powerlifter Souhad Ghazouani, US body builder Ronnie Coleman, French judoka David Douillet, French footballer Zinedine Zidane. (Athlete, 04 Dec 2017; Facebook page, 14 Jan 2019)
To be crowned as world champion and to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 08 Jan 2019; Facebook page, 14 Jan 2019)
He was born with spina bifida. (Athlete, 04 Dec 2017)
Other information
In June 2019 it was announced he had been suspended by the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] for nine months after returning an adverse analytical finding for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide at the 2018 European Open Championships in Berck-sur-Mer, France. The suspension ran from 28 May 2018, the day of the test, to 27 February 2019. All his results within those dates were disqualified, which meant he was stripped of the gold medal he won in the 88kg category at the 2018 European Open Championships. (, 01 Jun 2019;, 01 Jun 2019)

He wants to be a role model for people with an impairment. "Through my image I can give strength to families. I don't care about being famous or money. For me, what is important is that people might come up to me and tell me 'We see what you do, it's beautiful and it has made an impact in our lives'. I would love that. Once I have left this world, I hope people will say 'I want to become just like Rafik', because each one of us can be a role model for someone else." (Facebook page, 14 Jan 2019)

He was born in France to a family with Moroccan origins. (, 28 May 2018)


Unit Date Rank
2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Up to 88.00 kg MD Final 2014-04-09 19
Mexico City 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Up to 88.00kg Final 2017-12-06 8