Page back
ISSA Alia
Sport Para athletics
NPC Refugee Paralympic Team   
GenderWomen
Age21
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
F32
Further Personal Information
Residence
Athens, GRE
Occupation
Student
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para sports in 2018 in Greece and began training in athletics a year later. "At first I started training in boccia."
Why this sport?
Her talent was spotted by her physical education teacher Michalis Nikopoulos, who later became her coach. "At my primary school, I was the only one with a disability. I was bullied by some of the kids. But it didn't stop me from wanting to go to school. I liked school a lot. Being introduced to sports was very important to me. I felt stronger and more confident with my body and mobility. I didn't feel different anymore."
Club / Team
Tyrtaios Sports Club for the Disabled: Greece
Name of coach
Dionysios Koumparis; Michalis Nikopoulos
General Interest
Most influential person in career
Her father Mohament. "My father taught me to dream big and actually his dream was for me to become a doctor." (paralympic.org, 26 May 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Do not stay inside your homes. Get active. It will give you your independence and a way to be included in society." (paralympic.org, 26 May 2021)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and to pursue higher education. (sports3.gr, 12 Jul 2021; paralympic.org, 26 May 2021)
Impairment
She has physical and intellectual impairments as a result of the effects of smallpox. She contracted the illness at age four. (nbcolympics.com, 30 Jun 2021; Paralympic Games YouTube channel, 26 May 2021)
Other information
FAMILY BACKGROUND
In 1996 her father Mohament left Syria for Greece. He worked as a tailor to save up enough money to allow his wife and four children, not yet including Issa, to join him in Greece four years later. Issa was born in Greece in 2001. When she was age 16, her father died of cancer, and after this the family applied for and received refugee status to remain in Greece while war was ongoing in Syria. "It took me a year to come to grips with the fact that he [her father] wasn't there. It was a very difficult time. He would be very proud and very happy [to see her compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo]. I think about that a lot." (UNHCR Deutschland Facebook page, 06 Jul 2021; paralympic.org, 26 May 2021)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
8 2021 Club Throw F32 16.33
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
4 2021 Club Throw F32 15.12