Paralympic Swimmer Wins Prestigious Spanish Prize

2016 Rio Paralympics - Day 9

A world and Paralympic swimming champion has won a prestigious Spanish prize.

Spain's own Teresa Perales has won Spain’s annual Princess of Asturias award for sports.

On announcing the prize Wednesday, the judges who awarded her said that the Spanish athlete had become “an example for millions of disabled people of how to overcome difficulties and an icon of international paralympics.”

Perales, 45, lost the use of her legs at 19 due to neuropathy became a swimmer when she could not do karate. She has won numerous medals at the Paralympic Games over the past two decades, and is a motivational speaker and physiotherapist.

The 50,000-euro ($60,900) award is one of eight Asturias prizes handed out each year by a foundation named for Crown Princess Leonor. Other categories include art, social sciences and scientific research.

Former winners include American Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn and Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher.

The awards are among the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world.

PHOTOS: Getty Images

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