Nélia Barbosa

Nélia Barbosa

At a glance

  • Sport: Paracanoe
  • Country: France
  • Date of Birth: October 8, 1998

About the athlete

Nélia is a French Paralympian canoeist competing in the classification KL3 division, competing for a leading club in France. At the age of 2, Nélia was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a disease which created benign but invasive tumors in her ankle. While the doctors were able to stop the progression of the disease temporarily, after a few years, it resurfaced, and the doctors were forced to amputate.

Nélia first started canoeing at the age of 12 and it soon became a form of therapy as she recovered both physically and mentally from the operation. When she was 15, Nélia participated in her first international tournament and soon became one of the best canoeists in the world.

Nélia has an impressive career at only 24, one that could rival any competitor in the sport. She has won the silver medal at three of the last four European Championships in 2019, 2021, and 2022, and won bronze at the world championships in 2021, followed by a silver in 2022.

Nélia made her Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and while it was a huge achievement to win the silver medal, her aspirations are even higher as she sets her sights on gold at Paris 2024.

Notable achievements

  • Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games– Silver Medal (KL3)
  • 2023 World Championships – Silver Medal (KL3)
  • 2022 European Championships– Silver Medal (KL3)

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