The premier global sports awards took place in the company of royalty as HSH Prince Albert and HSH Princess Charlene joined the biggest names in sport – including Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg – at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco.
At the Ceremony, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles were named Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, following their outstanding performances in 2016
They are the little and large of sport – Usain stands 1.95 metres, while Simone measures just 1.45 metres – but they were both giants at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, and enjoyed an ecstatic welcome as they received their Statuettes on the night.
After finishing second in the Formula 1 World Championship to his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2014 and 2015, Germany’s Nico Rosberg at last won his first F1 world title in 2016 and was presented with the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award.
The Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games produced three more Laureus winners: Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, won Comeback of the Year after he returned to swimming and scooped five more gold medals.
Italy’s Beatrice Vio, the only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing, won the Disability Award, and the Olympic Refugee Team, led by Tegla Loroupe, won the Laureus Sport for Good Award for Sporting Inspiration.
The prestigious Laureus Sport for Good Award went to Waves for Change, a South African based project uses the sport of surfing project for vulnerable young adults growing up in the country’s most violent communities.
Downhill mountain biker Rachel Atherton won the Action Sportsperson of the Year, while Leicester City won a special Laureus Spirit of Sport Award to mark their remarkable achievement in winning English football’s Premier League as 5,000-1 outsiders.
Another historic team performance was Chicago Cubs’ first Major League Baseball World Series victory for 108 years. This feat won them the Laureus Team of the Year Award.
For the first time ever, sports fans around the world voted for the new Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award was presented to the Barcelona Under-12 Team for the humanity and warmth they showed in consoling a Japanese team who they had beaten.
— #Laureus17 (@LaureusSport) February 14, 2017