Laureus World Sports Awards 2018
The Laureus Awards took place on the 27th of February in Monaco and were hosted by Benedict Cumberbatch. These awards, which have taken place every year since 2000, often termed the ‘Oscars’ of sports, are one of the most prestigious sporting award ceremonies.
Roger Federer won his 5th Sportsman of the Year award, as well as the Comeback of the Year Award, to add to his tally of 20 Grand Slams and 2 Olympic Medals.
The invincible 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, won her 5th Sportswoman of the Year award, bringing her to a total of 5 Laureus awards.
8-time Paralympic medallist Marcel Hug from Switzerland won the awards for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, having won 2 Golds at the 2017 Para-Athletics World Championships in London. He also won the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon in 2017. He competes in the T54 classification in track and field, wherein the athletes have no leg function and compete in wheelchairs.
The Mercedes F1 team won the Team of the Year award, having won 12 of the 20 races in the 2017 season. The champion, Lewis Hamilton, was from their team, and he had 13 podium finishes, 9 of them wins. Mercedes won the Constructers’ championship for the 4th year on the trot with 668 points, 146 points ahead of runners-up, Ferrari.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J.Watt won the Sporting Inspiration award for his philanthropic efforts, using his celebrity profile as an elite American Football player to raise $37 million in relief funds for Hurricane Harvey.
The 2017 Augusta Masters champion Sergio Garcia won the Breakthrough of the Year award, his second Laureus.
Armel le Cleac’h won the Action Sportsperson of the Year award. He is a French navigator and yachtsman, and he won the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe (a solo unassisted non-stop yacht race around the world) in a record time of 74 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes, continuing the French dominance of the race, with every edition thus far having been won by a Frenchman.
The Best Sporting Moment Award was given to the eternal champions, Chapecoense, a football team from Brazil, who tragically lost most of the team members in a plane crash in Colombia in November 2016. Despite the fact that only 3 team members survived their injuries, the team was rebuilt and they won the Campeonato Catarinense only a few months later. In another incredible feat, Alan Ruschel, one of the 3 team members who survived the plane crash, made a comeback and played for the first time since the crash, against F.C. Barcelona in August 2017.
Italian football great Francesco Totti, who retired from Roma, where he spent his entire career, in 2017 became only the second person to win the Exceptional Achievement award, alongside the legend Michael Phelps.
Perhaps the greatest 400m hurdler ever, Edwin Moses, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. A fitting honour for the American double Olympic champion, who had dominated his event throughout his career, remaining unbeaten for 9 years 9 months and 9 days, winning 122 consecutive races.
The award for Sport for Good was given to Active Communities Network, a charity that started in the United Kingdom and now operates in UK, Ireland, and South Africa. They use sport to develop youngsters to help create better opportunities for education, training, and employment.
All images in the collage (unless otherwise specified) are from Wikimedia Commons