Coe hails Britain’s Famous Five for Laureus Awards

From Laureus
The exceptional performances at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games by British athletes have produced five nominations for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards, being held in Rio de Janeiro next Monday, March 11.

Now Jessica Ennis, the SJA’s Sportswoman of the Year, Mo Farah, Andy Murray, David Weir and SJA Sportsman of the Year Bradley Wiggins have just days to wait to discover if they have won coveted Laureus Awards.

Lord Coe: London's Olympic delivered a new generation of inspiration sports stars
Lord Coe: London’s Olympic delivered a new generation of inspiration sports stars

Laureus World Sports Academy Member and Olympic legend Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: “I am not at all surprised that so many British athletes have been nominated for Laureus Awards after the superb showing by the British team in London. All five that have been shortlisted reached personal milestones at the Olympics and of course Andy Murray at the US Open and Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France achieved massive sporting breakthroughs away from London as well.

“Any one of the five deserves to win a Laureus Award for their great sporting successes in 2012 in what was a remarkable year for British sport. We wanted the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games to leave a legacy and encourage young people in the UK and around the world to take up sport and it is the example of great sportsmen and women like these which will provide the role models for the sports stars of tomorrow.”

The winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on March 11.

Farah, winner of the 5,000 and 10,000 metres double, and cyclist Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France and the Olympic Time Trial, face a formidable line-up for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. Also nominated are Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with a career total of 22 medals, FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who scored 91 goals in 2012, and Sebastian Vettel, who won his third straight Formula 1 world championship.

Jessica Ennis dominated the heptathlon and won the gold medal with a British record score of 6,955pts. Also nominated for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year are Allyson Felix, who won gold medals in the 200, 4×100 and 4x400m relays, swimming sensation Missy Franklin, 17, who won four gold medals and a bronze, Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon, the US Open and two Olympic gold medals, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who defended her 100m Olympic title, and Lindsey Vonn, who captured her fourth overall skiing World Cup in five years.

Jessica Ennis: SJA Sportswoman of the Year, now in the running for the Laureus Awards
Jessica Ennis: SJA Sportswoman of the Year, now in the running for the Laureus Awards

Andy Murray’s first ever Grand Slam victory, at the US Open, plus an Olympic gold and silver medal in the singles and mixed doubles in London, made him a popular nominee for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award, while wheelchair racer David Weir, who won four Paralympic gold medals to become the hero of the home fans in London, is nominated for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.

Away from the Olympics, the European Ryder Cup Team, winners of the SJA’s Team of the Year prize in December, are nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award after their victory over the United States in the biennial golfing match last October. They are also on the shortlist for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, after their last day fightback in the so-called “Miracle of Medinah”. The team included seven British golfers – Luke Donald, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports over 140 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.

The 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony, which will be attended by the greatest names in sport, past and present, and broadcast to a worldwide TV audience, will be staged at the celebrated Theatro Municipal, a spectacular venue in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, which stages gala performances by international dancers and musicians and which also hosted events at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.

The full list of Nominees for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics; Mo Farah (UK) Athletics; Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football; Michael Phelps (US) Swimming; Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing; Bradley Wiggins (UK) Cycling

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics; Allyson Felix (US) Athletics: Missy Franklin (US) Swimming; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics; Lindsey Vonn (US) Skiing; Serena Williams (US) T ennis

Laureus World Team of the Year
China Olympic Table Tennis Team; European Ryder Cup Team; Miami Heat (US) Basketball; Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria); Spain Men’s Football Team; US Men’s Basketball Team

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yannick Agnel (France) Swimming; Gabby Douglas (US) Gymnastics; Kira ni James (Grenada) Athletics: Andy Murray (UK) Tennis; Neymar (Brazil) Football; Ye Shiwen (China) Swimming

Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Ernie Els (South Africa) Golf; European Ryder Cup Team; Anna Meares (Australia) Cycling; Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) Athletics; Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Rowing Team

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Patrick Anderson (Canada) Wheelchair Basketball; Johanna Benson (Namibia) Athletics; Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil) Swimming; Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Brazil) Athletics; David Weir (United Kingdom) Wheelchair Racing; Alex Zanardi (Italy) Hand Cycling

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Felix Baumgartner (Austria) Skydiving; Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX; Julie Bresset (France) Mountain Biking; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Joel Parkinson (Australia) Surfing; Philip Köster (Germany) Windsurfing

For further information, please contact:
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