Dr. Cheri Blauwet has been awarded the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) International Women’s Day Recognition award.
The 36-year-old triple Paralympian and seven-time medalist in wheelchair racing has been praised for “extending her legacy beyond the field of play.”
The American has maintained an active sports medicine practice at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Her published research has helped increase participation in Para-sport by studying injury rates and other causes specific to athletes with disabilities.
She has also helped in the battle to use sport to promote disability rights.
Blauwet, who serves as an assistant professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, chairs the IPC’s Medical Committee.
In 2015 she spoke alongside IPC President Sir Philip Craven at the United Nations in New York on “united action towards sustainable development for all through sport.”
This is the fifth year that the IPC has bestowed the prize, which goes to someone – male or female – who “embodies the spirit of the Paralympics and who inspires women within it.”
The announcement of the winner coincides with International Women’s Day today.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the 2017 IPC International Women’s Day Award,” said Blauwet.
“I believe in the important and essential voice of women at every table, in every profession, in every sporting arena.
“We need to continue to mentor young women to become involved as athletes, coaches, sport managers, and even sports medicine doctors.
“Women with impairments are central to the Paralympic Movement and I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful community.”
Sitting volleyball pioneer Irene Chang, Italian Paralympic Committee Executive Board member Paola Fantanto, Iranian Para-sport champion Batoul Moshrefjavadi and Australia’s double Paralympic sailing champion Liesl Tesch were also nominated for the prize.
Blauwet was selected by the IPC’s Women in Sport Committee, which is headed by Tine Rindum Teilmann.
“Dr Cheri Blauwet is, with her outstanding achievements, an excellent role model within the Paralympic Movement for all women and girls, from athletes to technical officials and committee leaders,” Teilmann said.
“She also leads the way for other female athletes to take up leadership positions within the movement.”
Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, won the award last year.
By Dan Palmer
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.