Six Paralympians Nominated for Laureus Sports Award

The Nominees (Photo: International Paralympic Committee)

Six Paralympians have been nominated for the Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award, with the shortlist announced on Wednesday. The Six Paralympians won a combined 22 medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and are deserving nominees of what is the highest individual honor for para sport athletes.

The first athlete in the list is the most decorated athlete of Rio 2016 in Belarussian swimmer Ihar Boki, who dominated the S13 classification. Boki claimed six gold and one bronze in Rio with dominant performances in the S13 classification.

Another swimmer joins Boki on the list as he is joined by New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe who continued to do well in the S10 classification. Pascoe won three gold and two silver in Rio, pushing her to become the most successful New Zealander in Paralympic history, bringing her total to nine gold and six silver.

The strongest male Paralympian in history is also in the short list as Iranian powerlifter Siamand Rhaman has been placed on the list. He became the first Paralympian to lift 300kg doing so at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Cuba received their first nomination for the Laureus Sports awards in this category as T12 sprinter Omara Durand received a nomination. She won three gold medals in Rio and broke the 100m world record, bringing it down to 11.40.

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug was tabbed for the shortlist as a reward for his phenomenal season, beyond just the Rio Paralympic Games. Hug won the Paralympic marathon and became the first man to win the marathon Grand Slam, claiming the Boston, London, Chicago, and New York marathons.

Rounding out the list is Italian teenaged fencer Beatrice Vio who managed two medals in her Paralympic debut an individual gold and a team bronze. The list was decided by the IPC Governing Board who narrowed things down to six, with the winner announced on February 14th.

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