Sisters Fassi Fihri | Welded up in air-conditioned sports

After she was paralyzed due to a traffic accident in 2013, Sofia Fassi Fihri switched to a fitness sport, specifically wheelchair basketball. Her two sisters decided to join her. a novel.

Posted at 5:00 am

Catherine Harvey Benard

Catherine Harvey Benard

It was July 29, 2013, around 10 p.m. Sofia Fassi Fihri has just finished having dinner with friends at a restaurant in Saint Laurent, Montreal. The group agreed to continue the evening with a drink elsewhere. To get there, the 24-year-old woman rode a boyfriend’s motorcycle.

Barely a few minutes after the start, at an intersection, a motorcycle was cut short by a car that crashed into it. Fassi Fihri was kicked out of the race car. She landed on her back by eight metres.

“I remember everything. I broke a lot of things. Back and legs… I got hit in the shoulder and I had a trauma to the skull. I was well off” Journalism In a small cafe on Center Street in Montreal.

Sophia, a Moroccan who arrived in Quebec in 2007 to study, was transferred to the Hospital of the Sacred Heart in Montreal. She had back surgery the next morning. Since that evening in July 2013, she has been paraplegic. This means that she can no longer feel anything from the middle of her torso to her feet.

Photo by Sarah Mungo Burkett, press

Sofia Fassi Fihri

“At first, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life,” she recalls. But I have a very supportive family. All goes well. I didn’t lose my spirits or anything at all. »

Fassi Farhi spent a week in intensive care, then a week in intermediate care before starting his rehabilitation. His goal: “to become as independent as possible.” what did you do. On the way to a long career as a wheelchair basketball player…

Mary and Zainab

Sofia Fassi Fihri has two sisters: Mariam and Zainab, twins who were studying in France at the time of the accident. A few months later, once they finished their studies, they decided to move to Quebec.

“We only had the idea that we were going to go and join her,” Mariam recalls.

The three sisters have always been very close. “We are sisters and best friends! Mariam simply but effectively. During their childhood in Morocco, they practiced all kinds of sports together. But Sofia always has a special love for football.

Photo from Sofia Fassi Fihri’s Facebook page

Sisters Mariam Sofia and Zeinab Fassi Fihri

“Since I started walking, I have been playing soccer. Since I don’t walk anymore, I don’t play anymore!”, she laughs heartily.

After the accident she had, it was impossible for her to remain inactive. At Lucie-Bruneau Rehab, she met a kinesiologist with whom she went on a tour of adaptive sports. I’ve tried them all. Her sister Mary, eager to accompany Sophia in her sport, experienced two with them: rugby and basketball.

“When I tried basketball, I said: ‘If you don’t play, I’ll play,'” the latter said. It was that simple! I’m really hooked, I loved it. »

“We chose basketball and we haven’t stopped since!”, she adds.

Zainab was absent during the interview JournalismHe joined them the following year. The modified sports classification system allows athletes without a disability to participate in sports. To this day, the three sisters play on the same AA level team within their club, the Center for Integration into Active Life (CIVA), as well as on the Quebec team. Sophia and Mary also play in AAA.

Photography mission photography

Sisters of Zainab, Sophia and Maryam Fassi Fihri

“We really like to play together because we understand each other!”, Maryam suggests as she looks at Sophia.

“It often happens that it heats up, but it cools just as quickly, the latter continues. It is the joke between us. We speak Arabic. On the ground, as soon as we switch to Arabic, it means that we are about to yell at each other!”

Note that Sofia will be participating in a camp with the national team, in Colorado, mid-May. Only players with disabilities are eligible.


While playing basketball, Sofia Fassi Fihri found more than just a new way to put her energy into.

“I mostly met a community,” she says. I’ve met people with disabilities who have gone through things that I’ve been through. People I can talk to about certain things and they understand me. »

Photography mission photography

Sisters Sofia and Zainab Fassi Fihri

His sister Mary also learned from this experience in a different way. “Do you realize that … well, there is a disability, it shows. But she says they can do anything. There are sports, they can travel. If you give yourself the means, you are able.”

The sisters tried different sports, such as downhill skiing and adaptive water skiing. In the summer, they planned to take some trips to Greece Kite surfing adaptation. “If you want to do something, you do your research and you will find a way,” Sophia says.

“For any activity, there will always be someone who is passionate and, at some point, has had bad luck and made sure to make it accessible to more people,” Miriam adds.

And then there will always be the Fassi Fahri sisters to try!

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