Ester Ledecká has received the special FIS award ©Getty Images

Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká has received the International Matteo Baumgarten Award recognising athletes who are successfully combining sport and education.

The annual honour seeks to recognise young athletes who are completing their studies and education while competing at a high level in one of the six International Ski Federation Olympic disciplines.

It was begun by the Baumgarten family in memory of their son Matteo, a budding Alpine skier who was tragically killed in a car crash in 1996.

Former winners include Slovenia's two-time Olympic Alpine skiing champion Tina Maze in 2005 and Slovenia's reigning world downhill champion Ilka Štuhec in 2013.

This year saw 24 nominations submitted from 17 National Ski Associations.

Ilka Štuhec is a former winner of the Matteo Baumgarten Award ©Getty Images
Ilka Štuhec is a former winner of the Matteo Baumgarten Award ©Getty Images

Ledecká, the reigning parallel giant slalom world champion, was chosen after "careful analysis" by the Baumgarten family. 

The 22-year-old, who also won a parallel slalom world crown in 2015, is also studying Marketing Communication at the University of Finance and Administration in Prague.

She will be presented the award in Bormio, Italy on May 14, 2017 at a meeting of the Lions Club Bormio in front of "many dignitaries and prominent personalities".

The Baumgarten family said in a statement how they would like to "warmly thank" all the National Ski Associations and the nominees for participating in this year’s award.

FIS would like to thank all the participating athletes and hopes they get inspired by Ledecká to "keep pursuing their goals in winter sports while completing their studies".