Snowboarder and Alpine skier Ester Ledecka (CZE) was presented with the Matteo Baumgarten Award on 14th May 2017 in Bormio (ITA) at an official ceremony.
Ester is a uniquely talented athlete, as World Cup champion in Snowboard parallel who also competes successfully at World Cup level of Alpine Skiing including the recent FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz (SUI). She is studying Marketing Communication at the University of Finance and Administration in Prague.
As winner of the 21st edition of the Matteo Baumgarten Award, Ester takes home EUR 3,000 towards her education and joins previous winners including Ilka Stuhec (SLO), Tina Maze (SLO), Tanja Poutiainen (FIN) and Bernadette Schild (AUT).
The Award commemorates the life of Alpine skier Matteo Baumgarten, whose life was tragically cut short in 1996. Thanks to his family - father Giacomo, mother Paola Molara and sister Benedetta - the Award has come to recognise athletes who look beyond their athletic career and study full time whilst balancing the demands of training. Father Giacomo commented: “Matthew was a generous and intelligent boy with a great and refined love for knowledge and culture. The Award continues his character. We are proud of what it has become.”
As a special addition to this year’s Award, a school friend of Matteo and now chair of the modern history department at the University of Brescia, Daniele Montanari, attended the Awards.
The 21st edition of the Award saw 24 nominations submitted from 17 National Ski Associations.