Para Sport Awards: Veronika Aigner wins Breakthrough Award with guide Elisabeth
Austrian Para alpine skier Veronika Aigner and her sister and guide Elisabeth won the Breakthrough Award at the 2023 Para Sport Awards for incredibly successful seasons that included victories at both the Paralympic Games and the World Championships.
In her Paralympic debut at Beijing 2022, Veronika won the giant slalom Ⅵ and the slalom Ⅵ competitions at Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre, with Elisabeth as her guide. She continued her impressive run at the World Para Snow Sports Championships 2023 in Espot, Spain, topping the podium in two events.
"It has been another fantastic year for us, and this award confirms the hard work we have put in over the last few years. We live and love our sport and are happy to share the successes and emotions as a family and be there for each other even in difficult situations," the sisters said.
"This award is both a mission and motivation because we both still want to achieve a lot and the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Games are our big common goal," they added. "Thank you to everyone who voted for us and congratulations to all the other winners and nominees."
Veronika, who was born with a vision impairment, started skiing before she was two years old and was competing in Para alpine skiing races by age nine. She has won 15 World Cup events since making her debut in the 2018-19 season.
The Aigner siblings stole the show at Beijing 2022, as Veronika and Elisabeth, along with their twin siblings Johannes and Barbara won a total of nine medals. Competing in front of their parents, the siblings took Austria to the top of the medals table in Para alpine skiing with four golds.
The 2023 Para Sport Awards celebrate those whose efforts have contributed to strengthening the impact of Para sports worldwide. In addition to awards for summer and winter sport athletes, there are categories for coaches and volunteers.
The Breakthrough Award recognises an athlete or National Paralympic Committee (NPC) that has made a significant breakthrough. The Para Sport Awards ceremony is going to be held alongside the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) General Assembly on 27 September in Manama, Bahrain.