Teen Paralympian Gets the Courage to Ask Obama for Selfie at State Dinner

It was a night this gold medal winner will never forget.

In a room packed with stars from both America and Italy, one athlete shined the brightest after she asked President Obama for a selfie.

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Italian Paralympian Beatrice Vio was a guest of honor at Obama’s final state dinner at the White House Tuesday night, as they hosted Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini.

The 19-year-old, who lost her legs and arms from severe meningitis in 2008, took home gold at the Rio Paralympics in wheelchair fencing this past summer.

To cap her year with a presidential selfie, however, Vio had to defy protocol, but the president didn't seem to mind.

She captioned the photo with: "It's not possible?!? I'm sorry, I don't understand these words."

The president held the camera as the teen posed for the shot with the leader of the free world.

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Prior to the photo, Vio began her day on the White House lawn and watched as Obama introduced Renzi to Washington.

She wrote on Instagram: “I shook hands with President Obama and I swear that I didn't know what to say for the first time and I didn't even dare ask a selfie ... I am speechless, great success!”

She added: “Luckily tonight I can see,” meaning she hoped to ask for a selfie. Little did she know that a few hours later, the president would oblige.

She flew to Washington with Oscar winner and Life Is Beautiful star Roberto Benigni along with his wife, Nicoletta Braschi.


Arrivata a #Washington ?? ? (Foto Ambasciata Italiana)

A photo posted by Beatrice Vio (@bebe_vio) on

She also showed off her dress and how she packed.

Among the 400 guests were many high profile Italians and Italian-Americans such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his girlfriend, Sandra Lee; The Night Of actor John Turturro, Life Is Beautiful star Roberto Benigni, designer Giorgio Armani, race car driver Mario Andretti and celebrity chef Rachael Ray.

Musicians Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper and comedian Jerry Seinfeld were also in attendance. 

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