Eleonor Sana, skier, ENGIE Talent of the Year 2016

On February 9, 2017 ENGIE, which has been a partner of the Belgian Paralympic Committee (BPC) for 15 years, awarded the fifth ‘ENGIE Talent Of The Year’ trophy to a young Paralympian. This year the trophy returned to skier Eleonor Sana, a double medallist at the recent World Championships.

ENGIE Talent of the Year 2016 Eléonor Sana jbc

The ‘Road to Tokyo’ gala evening organised by the Belgian Paralympic Committee (BPC) on Thursday, February 9 was a dizzying occasion. ENGIE Electrabel CEO Philippe Van Troeye handed the fifth ENGIE Talent of the Year trophy to the young (19-year-old) athlete Eleonor Sana.

Double medallist (silver and bronze)

The gifted skier from Court-Saint-Etienne put on a brilliant show at the recent World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. Guided by her sister Chloe wearing a fluorescent jacket and a microphone, over two days Eleonor, who is visually impaired, won a bronze medal in the downhill and took silver in the Super G. This was a remarkable achievement for the Paralympian, who only began competing in 2014, and a great result for her parents, who opted resolutely in favour of their disabled daughter’s integration.

This two-medal haul bodes very well indeed for the next Winter Paralympics, which will take place in 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

7,000 athletes supported over the past 15 years

As a responsible corporate citizen and solidarity-based company ENGIE has been a partner of the BPC and its two national leagues for adaptive sport – the French-speaking Handisport League and its Dutch-speaking counterpart, the Parantee League – for 15 years now.

Over that period, the Group has supported nearly 7,000 athletes with disabilities and offered employment contracts to six of them. In addition, a number of Group employees participate in actions organised by the Belgian Paralympic Committee. For five years already, by awarding an ENGIE Talent of the Year trophy, the Group has also encouraged promising talents and helped to prepare them for their next major sporting events.

The BPC is in charge of sending Belgium’s leading athletes to summer and winter Paralympic Games. To cite but one success story, Belgian athletes came away from the last two summer Paralympics with no fewer than 18 medals! This medal tally included 7 won in London and 11 in Rio, including one gold medal (in table tennis) for Laurens De Vos, who won Talent of the Year in 2014.

Which medal(s) will Eleonor’s win next year? Watch this space! But we’ll definitely be back in 2018 to talk about it. Go, Eleonor! You can do it!

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