Silvio Velo named December Allianz Athlete of the Month

Blind footballer helped Argentina defeat rivals Brazil at Americas Championship 16 Jan 2018
a male blind footballer

Silvio Velo led Argentina to their first major title since 2005

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Argentinian blind football player Silvio Velo has been voted the Allianz Athlete of the Month for December to round off the 2017 list.

Velo led his team to its first major title since 2005 at the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) Blind Football American Championships in Santiago, Chile. Argentina beat the all-conquering Brazilian team on penalties in the final with Velo scoring a crucial goal in the shoot-out.

Velo received 53 per cent of the public votes. British wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett was second with 29 per cent. Independent Paralympic Athlete swimmer Mohammad Abas Karimi came in third (10 per cent), followed by Italian swimmer Carlotta Gilli and then Nigerian powerlifter Paul Kehinde.

The 2017 winners are:

January – Jeroen Kampschreur, Netherlands, alpine skiing

February – Veronika Vadovicova, Slovakia, shooting

March – Maria Paula Barrera, Colombia, swimming

April – Jean Claude Niringiyimana, Rwanda, taekwondo

May – Evan Medell, USA, taekwondo

June – Alfie Hewett, Great Britain, wheelchair tennis

July – Petrucio Ferreira, Brazil, athletics

August – U Cheol Park, South Korea, wheelchair rugby

September – Zahra Nemati, Iran, archery

October – Ivan Sivak, Ukraine, Para dance sport

November – Nick Taylor and David Wagner, USA, wheelchair tennis

December – Silvio Velo, Argentina, football 5-a-side