Laureus World Sports Awards 2017: Bolt and Biles Win, Ayana Misses Out
The Laureus World Sports Awards is held annually, celebrating the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport along with their achievements from the previous calendar year. The 2017 Award ceremony took place in Monaco. Below are the winners;
The Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt won a record-equaling 4th Laureus Award after beating off competition from 5000 and 10,000 Olympic champion Mo Farah, tennis gold medal winner Andy Murray, Cristiano Ronaldo and basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
The Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Simone Biles won four gold medals and a bronze as she became one of the most exciting stars of the Rio Olympics. At 19, she is already the most decorated American gymnast with a career total of 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, including 14 gold.
Biles scooped the award ahead of world number one Tennis player Angelique Kerber, American athlete Allyson Felix, American swimmer Katie Ledecky, Jamaican Athlete Elaine Thompson and British Cyclist Laura Kenny.
Laureus world comeback of the year
It is awarded to the sportsperson or team who has overcome injury, illness, adversity, disappointment or failure and risen back to triumph in the sporting arena. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, produced one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of sport when he won five gold medals and one silver medal at the Olympics in Rio.
He beat off competition from Ruth Beitia who came back from retirement to win a gold medal at the age of 37 in the high Jump at the Rio Olympics, Juan Martin Del Potro who defeated Novak Djokovic in the first round at Rio Olympics, Fabienne st Louis who competed in the Olympic after recovering from Salivary gland cancer, Nick Skelton a 58 year old who won the individual show jumping gold medal on big star in Rio despite breaking his neck in two places in 2000 and Aksel Lund Svindal who won seven world cup Skiing victories in less than two months.
The Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
The award goes to the person who best demonstrates excellent athletic achievement and strong leadership qualities in a sport in the Paralympic program.
Beatrice Vio beat off competition from the visually impaired swimmer Ihar Boki, Cuba’s visually impaired sprinter Omara Durand, Swiss Marcel Hug Wheelchair Athletics gold medalist, New Zealand swimmer Sophie Pascoe and Siamand Rahman who become the first Paralympian to lift over 300kg.
Beatrice was the only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing, in Rio she came out of the pool stage undefeated, winning her five bouts. The final saw her beat China’s Jingjing Zhou to win the gold medal. She also led the Italian team to a bronze medal.
The Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
The Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award went to Nico Rosberg. After finishing second in the Formula One World Championship to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2014 and 2015, Rosberg made the breakthrough in 2016 to win the world title for the first time. He retired five days after the last race in Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg beat off competition from Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana, Fiji men’s rugby sevens team, Iceland men’s football team, EPL Champions Leicester City and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk who broke one of the longest standing World records at the Rio Olympics.
The Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
The award went to Rachel Atherton who best demonstrated supreme athletic performance and achievement in action sports. She completed the perfect season in 2016, becoming the first ever rider to win all seven rounds of the UCI Downhill World Cup. She has now gone 13 straight races unbeaten. Atherton also won her fourth senior World Championship, her third in four years.
Rachel beat off competition from American surfer John John Florence, Brazilian Pedro Barros (Skateboarding), American Chloe Kim (Snowboarding), Estonian Kelly Sildaru (Freestyle Skiing) and Australian Tyler Wright (Surfing).
The Laureus World Team of the Year
Chicago Cubs won their first World Series for 108 years, ending one of the longest droughts in sport. Manager Joe Maddon’s team beat Cleveland Indians 4-3 in the best of seven series, becoming the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit since 1979. The cubs won the award ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers (Basketball), Mercedes Amg Petronas Motor Racing, Portugal Men’s Football Team, Brazil Men’s Olympic Football Team and Real Madrid.
Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year
Barcelona’s under 12 team proved football really is a gentleman’s game after they were consoling their Japanese rivals after beating them 1-0 in the final of the Junior Soccer World Challenge. This remarkable display won them the award ahead of the Heartwarming Moment of July 10TH when a young Portugal fan comforted sobbing Frenchman after the Euro 2016 finals, the Fair Play moment of January 5TH as Jack Sock was seen telling Lleyton Hewitt to challenge an umpire’s decision that a service shot was out, the Sportsmanship spirit of August 16TH – New Zealand athlete Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell, accidentally tripping up the USA’s Abbey D’Agostino too. The American soon got up and instead of running helped Hamblin before faltering on a clearly injured knee, the September 19TH family moment when Jonny began to weave over the road in hot and humid conditions, Second-placed Alistair, 28, caught his brother, propping him up for the final couple of hundred meters before pushing him over the line in second place and the ever memorable and magical July 5TH when the Icelandic national football team is met by a huge crowd in the country’s capital city of Reykjavik as they return from Euro 2016– during which the crowd of thousands took part in the so-called ‘Icelandic thunder clap.’
The Laureus Spirit of Sport Award
Leicester City FC were awarded with spirit of sport award.
The Laureus Sport for good Award
Featured Photo: The Refugee Olympic Team got the award for Sporting Inspiration