Catherine Debrunner up for Laureus Awards

Swiss continuous her country's long tradition of wheelchair racers shortlisted to the World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability prize 21 Feb 2023
A graphic announcing Catherine Debrunner as Laureus Award nominee
Catherine Debrunner had a year to remember winning major titles in her debut marathon season and setting a series of track world records
ⒸLaureus Awards 2023
By Laureus and World Para Athletics

Swiss wheelchair racer Catherine Debrunner fantastic 2022 season earned her a first nomination to the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award. 

Debrunner is one of the six nominees alongside US Para ice hockey player Declan Farmer, New Zealand’s Para swimmer and wheelchair rugby player Cameron Leslie, Dutch wheelchair tennis player Diede De Groot, Norway's Para alpine skier Jesper Saltvik Pedersen, and US Para Nordic skier and cyclist Oksana Masters.

The Laureus World Sports Academy announced the six candidates on Monday (20 February) with the winner set to be revealed at a special awards ceremony held in the European spring.

Debrunner had a year to remember winning major wheelchair races in her debut season in marathon and setting a series of world records in Para athletics events.

A track specialist, the Swiss delighted home fans to set four world records at the Nottwil 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in the women’s 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m T53.

Later in 2022 she competed in her first ever marathons as part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XIV. In her debut in September, the Berlin Marathon 2022, she won gold, pipping fellow Swiss Manuela Schaer, who was eyeing a sixth-consecutive triumph in the German capital.

Seven days later, Debrunner went one better at the London Marathon 2022, where she not only won gold but set a new course record in the process.

The 27-year-old is part of a long tradition of Swiss wheelchair racers who have been shortlisted to the Laureus starting with Edith Hunkeler in 2007. Marcel Hug has been nominated three times, in 2014, 2017 and 2018, when he became the first Swiss Para athlete to win the award. 

Manuela Schaer was among the nominees in 2020. Switzerland’s Para cyclist Beat Schwarzenbach was also nominated in 2002.

You can find more information about the 2023 Laureus Awards here