“This is a huge honour! I appreciate my fellow nominees and all my fellow Paralympic athletes around the world."
The USA’s Kelsey Diclaudio has been voted the Allianz Athlete of the Month for November 2014, following her starring role during the first ever IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Women’s International Cup.
The historic first International Cup, which took place between 7-9 November in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, featured three teams: the USA, Canada and a combined European team.
The USA won the tournament with a 5-1 win over Canada in the final and it was the 17-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins forward who led the way scoring four goals and adding one assist to finish the tournament with 16 goals and seven assists.
Kelsey Diclaudio said: “This is a huge honour! I appreciate my fellow nominees and all my fellow Paralympic athletes around the world.
“I wouldn't be where I am today without the amazing coaches I have. This is a great chance to represent my country and the sport of sled hockey.”
Diclaudio’s exploits won her 44 per cent of the public vote during November’s vote, placing her just ahead of Brazil’s Ricardo Alves, who was named player of the tournament at the IBSA 5-a-side football World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
Also nominated in November’s poll were wheelchair tennis players Shingo Kunieda of Japan and Aniek Van Koot of the Netherlands, US para-snowboarder Mike Shea and the Belarusian wheelchair dance sport couple of Aliaksei Zukhtsikau and Veranika Kasach.
The previous winners in 2014 include:
January – Markus Salcher, Austria, alpine skiing
February – Matti Suur-Hamari, Finland, para-snowboard
March best male – Declan Farmer, USA, ice sledge hockey
March best female – Marie Bochet, France, alpine skiing
March best team – Russia ice sledge hockey
April – Ali Jawad, Great Britain, powerlifting
May – Aled Davies, Great Britain, athletics
June - Safet Alibasic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, sitting volleyball
July – Markus Rehm, Germany, athletics,
August best youngster – Maria Lyle, Great Britain, athletics
August best male – Yevheniy Bohodayko, Ukraine, swimming
August best female - Sarah Morganti, Italy, equestrian
September – Eduardo Avila Sanchez, Mexico, judo
October – Siamand Rahman, Iran, powerlifting