A Mom and Accomplished Athlete Without Arms Prove We Can All Defy The Odds


When it comes to beating adversity to achieve your dreams, Dejana Backo is one of the best examples you might ever find. Backo is an accomplished athlete and artist who has been able to defeat what is seemingly impossible: achieving her athletic dreams while living without arms. Backo has been able to create a life for herself that sends a message to others that stresses the importance of self discovery, empowerment and defying the odds no matter what. Now that she is well known for her successes and story, she uses her platform to raise awareness about living with disabilities. Read on to learn more about her journey and how she became such an inspiration to so many people. 

Backo was born in 1994 in Novi Sad of Serbia. She was born without arms, but learned from a young age to never let this stop her progress in life. Back would ask her mom why she had no legs while she was just a young child. The older she got, she became more at peace with her disability and learned to not define her identity by it. This was the key to her living a full life that was not limited by her adversity. As she continued to grow stronger in herself and her confidence, she became an artist and athlete, renowned for her talent and tenacity. 

Not only is she known for her zest for life amongst the public, but she has a wonderful relationship with her partner who is a fitness instructor. They show their love for each other on social media, as well as the many adventures and new places they enjoy together. 

At the young age of 9, she joined the Mouth and Foot Painters Society. This was one of her earliest motivations to become an artist and pursue it as a career. She earned her degree at the Design Art School in 2014, and then went on to study at the Academy of Fine ARts in Novi Sad. She has become a well known artist and has toured through solo exhibitions in over 20 cities in different countries all over the Balkans. 

Known as the “girl with wings,” she has made quite a name for herself. All over Serbia, she is a shining beacon of hope, empowerment and perseverance. This is due to her artist career, but also because she has become a very accomplished athlete as well. She became the first athlete without arms in Serbia to become a world champion in para taekwondo. This occurred when she won the World Para Taekwondo Championship in 2019, which was held in Turkey. 

As she continues to show just how much of a full life one can live with disabilities, Backo is ready to tackle her next challenge with full confidence and vigor. In 2023, Backo officially became a mother. She gave birth to her first child with her partner, and is ready to fully embrace this next milestone. In order to do so, she has decided to take some time away from sports. This means that she will have to miss out on competing in the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games. 

Even though she will take time away from sports, she is still actively inspiring her followers through social media. “We all have some difficulties as people with disabilities,” she said. “But if you have a good picture of yourself, if you know who you are and what your worth is and you act within that, you can pass all the negatives and focus on the positives.”