The 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards take place next week Tuesday in Monaco. For those who’s heads have been in the sand, the Laureus Awards are essentially the equivalent of the Academy Awards for Sport. They are the only awards that cross all different sporting codes. Obviously individual sporting codes have a slight advantage, but as recent awards have shown even the teams feature prominently. As we are just a week away, here are the Sports 24 Seven picks for the winners in each category.
World Sportsman of the Year
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Usain Bolt
The unprecedented triple-triple (which obviously has suffered a slight blip since Rio due to his team mate testing positive for 2008) was the ultimate sporting moment of the year for me. Usain once again did it on the biggest stage at the biggest moment beating the biggest villain. Easily our winner.
World Sportswoman of the Year
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Simone Biles
This is an outstanding collection of ladies that were collectively inspired throughout the year. But all things considered Simone Biles has to be the pick. I have never really followed Gymnastics in my life, yet I knew exactly who she was and that tells you about the story she was telling. At just 19 years of age she already has four Olympic gold medals to her name!
World Comeback of the Year
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Juan Martin del Potro
Because for me this award is about a player who overcame difficult circumstances to rise back to the top, like Schalk Burger in 2016. Phelps may be the greatest Olympian ever, but its the return of Del Potro and his Olympic silver medal that stole my imagination and joy, even if he knocked Djokovic out!
World Team of the Year
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Real Madrid
This is a phenomenal category with, in my opinion, a tight battle between a few teams. Mercedes are so far ahead that they almost dont count, which leaves it to a fight between Ronaldo’s international team, Ronaldo’s club team and the Cavaliers. But its the dominance of Real Madrid that gives them the edge for me.
World Breakthrough of the Year
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Leicester City
Wayde van Niekerk is the patriotic choice obviously with, Im sure, many votes going to Nico Rosberg. But surely in any year this category would be one by Leicester City and their fairytale Premier League win. In a time when money has ruined the game, Leicester reminded everyone about why its called “Beautiful”.
World Sportsperson of the Year with a disability
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Ihar Boki
This is a tough one as the sentimental vote would go to Marcel Hug who finally got the gold medal in his fourth Paralympics, but for me it has to go to Ihar Boki, the most successful Paralympian in Rio with six individual gold medals.
World Action Sportsperson of the Year
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Rachel Atherton
I must confess I dont know a lot of these guys as they participate in sports that I dont really follow. However, Rachel Atherton produced a year of perfection as she firstly became the first woman to win 10 consecutive rounds of the World Cup in June 2016 before completing a clean sweep, the first in history, of winning every round in the World Cup in the year. That kind of dominance deserves to be rewarded.
Best Sporting Moment of the Year
DRAMA – Alistair Brownlee helps brother Jonny over finish line
REMARKABLE – Barcelona U12s comfort Japanese opponents
FAIR PLAY – Jack Sock tells Lleyton Hewitt to challenge
MAGICAL – Iceland players perform Viking war chant
SPORTSMANSHIP – Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino show Olympic spirit
HEARTWARMING – Portugal fan Matisse, 10, comforts sobbing Frenchman
The Sports 24 Seven Pick: Now we know from the votes that Barcelona U12s comforting their Japanese opponents is the front runner, however my personal favourite was little Matisse. Just watch the video here and enjoy https://www.mylaureus.com/