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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has revealed the shortlist for the Best Male Athlete of March based on performances at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, and the public can now vote for the winner on www.Paralympic.org.
In lieu of the IPC Athlete of the Month award for March, the honour is being separated into three different categories - Best Male Athlete, Best Female Athlete and Best Team - based on results at Sochi 2014.
A one-week voting period will be dedicated to each category on the IPC's website, beginning with Best Male Athlete.
The nominees for Best Male Athlete include:
- Roman Petushkov (Russia, biathlon and cross-country skiing): As the biggest individual medal winner at Sochi 2014, the 36-year-old racked up an incredible six golds on his home snow in biathlon and cross-country skiing. In biathlon, he won the men's 7.5km, 12.5km and 15km sitting distances, and in cross-country skiing he struck gold in the men's 1km sprint and 15km sitting events, as well as the 4x2.5km open relay.
- Declan Farmer (USA, ice sledge hockey): At just 16 years old, the quick forward was crucial to the USA's gold-medal success in Sochi, playing over 87 minutes on the ice while scoring three goals and recording two assists in the tournament. Farmer helped the USA defeat top-seeded Canada in the semi-finals, scoring twice in a five-minute period early in the game.
- Brian McKeever (Canada, cross-country skiing): McKeever made history in Sochi, becoming the first Canadian Winter Paralympian to win 10 gold medals in a career. The visually impaired skier won all three of his individual events in Sochi, including the men's 1km sprint, 10km and 20km distances. In the 1km sprint, he overcame a fall at the start of race to dramatically come back and win gold.
- Markus Salcher (Austria, alpine skiing): The budding star won his rivalry with compatriot Matthias Lanzinger at Sochi 2014, outright winning the men's downhill and super-G standing events. He also finished with a bronze medal in the giant slalom standing.
- Evan Strong (USA, snowboard): The Hawaiian native led an American sweep of the podium in the debut of the men's Paralympic snowboard cross competition, becoming the first man to win Paralympic gold in the sport.
The public now has until 12:00 (CEST) on 9 April to vote for which male athlete it thought had the best performance last month at Sochi 2014.
The nominations are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs).
Notes to the Editor:
About the IPC
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC supervises the organisation of the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organisation formed and run by 176 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from five regions and four disability specific international sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.
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