Beatrice Vio claims Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability at World Sports Awards in Monaco


Beatrice Vio of Italy claimed the award following her Paralympic debut last year where she won a gold and bronze in wheelchair fencing.(Credit: EPA / SEBASTIEN NOGIER)

Following her invitation to the White House for President Obama’s final state dinner last year, wheelchair fencer, Beatrice Vio is no stranger to the red carpet.

Having been nominated by International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS)  last year, Vio made her way to the star-studded award ceremony of the Laureus World Sports Awards held in Monaco last night (14 February 2017) alongside fellow nominees, U.S swimmer Michael Phelps, British cyclist Laura Kenny and ‘the fastest man in the world’, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.

The annual award ceremony, held in Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte Carlo, hosted by British actor Hugh Grant and attended by Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene, Princess of Monaco, honours remarkable individuals from the world of sport and recognises the greatest sporting achievements throughout the year.

Vio, who at just 19 years old won an individual gold and team bronze at her Paralympic debut in Rio 2016 last summer, was thrilled to be awarded the ‘Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a disability’; an award previously won by Brazil’s Daniel Dias in 2016 and USA’s track athlete, Tatyana McFadden in 2015.

In her acceptance speech, Beatrice said, ‘I am very lucky to be here and I think all of us are very lucky because we practice sport. Sport is the best thing in the world.’ ‘I’m here thanks to sport. My life is sport’.

Beatrice Vio pictured with the Laureus winners of 2017 as Usain Bolt leads with his iconic stance (Credit: Getty Images for Laureus / Matthew Lewis)

At the Ceremony, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles were named Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, following their outstanding performances in 2016. The Laureus Sport for Good award went to the Olympic Refugee team.

Many congratulations to Beatrice Vio on yet another well-deserved award!