Laureus Awards: Hamilton, Messi, Simone Biles Named Athletes of Year
In a moment of sporting history, the greatest Formula One driver of his generation, Lewis Hamilton and the world’s greatest footballer, Lionel Messi were declared joint winners of the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, in front of a glittering international audience in Berlin on Monday.
The voting ended in a tie for the first time in the awards’ 20-year history.
Mercedes driver Hamilton won his sixth world championship in 2019, with 11 race wins and 17 podium finishes.
Messi was crowned the world’s best player for a record sixth time when he won the Ballon d’Or.
American gymnast Simone Biles, who became the most decorated gymnast in world championship history when she won her 25th medal last year, won her third Sportswoman of the Year gong.
This was after winning the award in 2017 and 2019.
The South African rugby team, which won the World Cup in Japan last year for the third time in history, were crowned the Team of the Year.
They beat European football champions Liverpool and women’s football World Cup winners U.S.
German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki, who retired last year after a 21-year career in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Basketball Federation was recognised with the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award after the men’s World Cup triumph last year.
Their women team have won three of the last four EuroBasket titles.
German Formula Three driver Sophia Floersch made the Comeback of the Year after getting back into the cockpit last year.
She fractured her spine in an aerial crash at the Macau Grand Prix in November 2018 which required an 11-hour surgery to fix.
Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar had the support of a cricket-crazy nation to win a fan vote for the award for the best Sporting Moment from the last two decades.
He is the highest run scorer of all time in international cricket.
In his sixth and final one-day international World Cup in 2011, Tendulkar finally got his hands on the title as India won on home soil.
He was carried on his team mates’ shoulders for a lap of honour.
A List of all the winners:
- Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi
- Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles
- Team of the Year: South Africa Men’s Rugby Team
- Breakthrough of the Year: Egan Bernal
- Comeback of the Year: Sophia Floersch
- Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oksana Masters
- Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim
- Best Sporting Moment: ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Dirk Nowitzki
- Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Spanish Basketball Federation
- Laureus Sport for Good Award: South Bronx United