Skiers dominate IPC December Athlete of the Month shortlist
Tuesday, 08 January 2013
January 8 - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has named alpine skiers Alexey Bugaev, Anna Schaffelhuber and Tyler Walker on its shortlist for December's Athlete of the Month award following on from their successes at the IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup and NorAm Cup last month.
Russia's Bugaev, the 15-year-old standing Alpine skier, delivered a surprise at the Europa Cup by winning four races and coming second in two others, only being beaten by Switzerland's Thomas Pfyl, to finish top of the men's Europa Cup rankings.
Sitting Alpine skier Schaffelhuber of Germany came first in five races and second in one, when she was beaten by Austrian Claudia Loesch, at the same event last month.
The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic bronze medallist currently sits at the top of the women's rankings and was last week named as one of the IPC's ones to watch in the sitting disciplines ahead of the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, Spain.
The United State's Walker (pictured top) was the dominant force at last month's IPC Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup, claiming five golds and one silver.
He excelled in the super-G to pick up two golds, and put on a superb performance in the giant slalom winning gold in the first race and silver in the second when he was beaten in to second place by his teammate Heath Calhoun.
The 26-year-old two-time Paralympian – he competed at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010 – went on to claim two further golds in the first and second races of the slalom to help his nation lead the field in the first event of the 2012-2013 NorAm Cup in Colorado.
Hungarian wheelchair fencer Zsuzsanna Krajnyak also features on the IPC Athlete of the Month shortlist after the London 2012 Paralympic Games bronze medallist won both the women's epee and the foil category A events at the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup on home soil in Eger.
American Taylor Chace completes the lineup after the ice sledge hockey star scored the only goal in the US' 1-0 win over Canada in the gold-medal game of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
The public can vote for the winner of the Athlete of the Month title via the poll on the www.paralympic.org homepage until 17:00 (CEST) on January 14.
The nominations are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs).