14 August Aug 2015 1510 3 years ago

From Sicily to Expo by handbike: Samuel's great challenge

The 15 year old Sicilian teenager welcomed in Civil Society Pavilion: "An example for all"

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"Disability is not physical but it is in not wanting to face life. Willpower can overcome all barriers. If I did it, why can not succeed the others?". With these words, Samuel Marchese, 16 years old, and the Freedom Angels greeted the audience after arriving in the final sprint on their handbikes in the courtyard of Cascina Triulza, the Civil Society Pavilion of Expo Milano 2015. The athletes have traveled the decumano escorted by Civil Service volunteers, by the Milan Local Police, by vehicles of the Mobility Center of Expo and applauded by a large crowd that wanted to celebrate the success of their extraordinary challenge. Samuel has traveled more than 1,000 kilometers in handbike to send a message: a world accessible to all is possible, if we are aware of and above all committed.

Samuel is a person with motor disabilities and he is an athlete. He decided together with his group to make this journey from his native Syracuse (Sicily) to the World Exhibition in Milan, to show that difficulties can be overcome thanks to tenacity, enthusiasm and team collaboration.

"We are proud of Samuel's challenge - says Chiara Pennasi, Director of Cascina Triulza, the Civil Society Pavilion of Expo Milano 2015 - an extraordinary initiative that is in the spirit of this space in Expo. His decision to come here from Sicily, confirms the importance of the presence of the third sector at the World Exhibition and it convinces us to continue with even greater commitment to give value and support people, to their strength and to the initiatives that they achieve to try to really change the world".