Lisa Unterweger, Austrian sprint champion, has become the first cross country skier ever to win the prestigious Matteo Baumgarten Award that “recognises athletes who strive to balance the demands of full-time study with their training and competition schedules”
The annual award is in its 23d year, it’s held in a memory of a young Italian skier and student, who tragically died in car crash in 1996 and is organized together by the family of late Matteo Baumgarten and the FIS
The Dailyskier congratulates Ms. Unterweger with winning the prize that is seen as one the key ways to encourage long-term athlete development.
Here are the excerpts from our conversation:
– How did the jury explained selection of your candidacy over the others?
They told me it was because I was the best. There hasn’t been a xc skier winning before and so among the xc skiers I was also the best.
– How many applicants/contenders were you chosen from this year?
23 athletes-students from 16 nations applied. To be eligible you have to send in your best results from your sports career and your status from university.
– Is there material prize to go with the Award. And if so – what is it?
The last years there have been € 3.000,- and this year € 2.000,- which is supposed to be a support for your studies.
– What do you currently study and what’s your future degree is expected to be?
I am studying „Wirtschaftswissenschaften“ business administration and economics at the “Fernuniversität in Hagen“. I am looking forward to finish my bachelor degree in September and will go on with Master afterwards.