Swimmer Maria Paula Barrera received the Allianz Athlete of the Month honour for March after winning six golds, one silver and one bronze at the Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games.
The 15-year-old burst onto the international scene when she won two golds and two bronzes at the Santiago 2014 Para South American Games.
One year later, she took part in a training camp in Brazil run by the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and supported by the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and Rio 2016.
Later in 2015, Barrera reached six finals at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.
In the public polls, she finished first with 59 per cent of the votes, followed by US cyclist Joseph Berenyi, with 36 per cent.
Slovakia’s alpine skier Henrieta Farkasova, US snowboarder Mike Minor, French Nordic skier Benjamin Daviet and Norwegian wheelchair curler Rune Lorentsen were also nominated.
The 2017 winners are:
January – Jeroen Kampschreur, The Netherlands, alpine skiing
February – Veronika Vadovicova, Slovakia, shooting
March – Maria Paula Barrera, Colombia, swimming