Messi, Hamilton and Simone Biles Lead in 2020 Laureus Sport Awards
2020 Laureus Sports awards: Hamilton and Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and his team, Mercedes, were once again the favorites to win this year’s Laureus Sports Awards. After having won so many trophies in his entire career, you would think his chances of winning more might reduce over time. But that is not the case. On February 17 in Berlin, the winner was announced and it was with the exception of the greatest footballer of all time Lionel Messi none other than Lewis Hamilton. Alongside many other top performers in Formula 1, Hamilton has helped F1 the most in making it a loveable sport to follow, bringing it in direct competition with Champions League and MotoGP.
What exactly does Laureus World Sports Awards represent?
Laureus Sports Awards is a leading sports awards show hosted by an organization called Laureus. The motto of this organization is ‘Sport for Good’. They use sport as a means of helping people in nearly 40 countries to get rid of issues like discrimination and violence. This award show has been honoring individuals from the world of sports for their achievements in the most recent year since 2000.
Among the most famous awards are these:
Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards are given to the individual men and women who have done amazingly in sports. In the last few years, the award has been dominated by Tennis players. F1 drivers had a serious competition this year again from the tennis players, in particular from Rafael Nadal who currently stands as the best tennis player in the world. However, Messi, Hamilton and Simone Biles lead in 2020 Laureus Sports awards this year. It seems like a positive step for Formula 1 moving forward.
For Sportsman of the Year award, we had the Kenyan long-distance runner, Eliud Kipchoge, who won his second consecutive London Marathon in 2019 and is one of the world record holders in the marathon.
Lionel Messi also made it into the list of nominees this year after a long drought lasting three years. Messi helped his team win La Liga, reach the Copa del Rey final and the Champions League semi-finals by scoring 52 goals and providing 23 assists (the most in the 2018-19 season). He also won FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award and France Football’s Ballon d’Or. All of his achievements made him a strong candidate and ultimately a worthy winner of the award.
Marc Marquez is not a newcomer in these award shows. Not after he won the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year back in 2014. Now, he is at the very top of his game. Totaling 420 points (around 150 points more than the 2nd placed Andrea Dovizioso), the Spanish MotoGP road racer won the 2019 championship taking his MotoGP World Championship trophy count to an astounding number six.
We cannot stress enough about the best tennis player Rafael Nadal who won the French Open and US Open in 2019. Nadal was another great among the greats to be the candidate for the award. The 2019 Masters winner Tiger Woods also competed. So, Lewis Hamilton who by the way added the sixth title to his name was in quite an impressive company of men, all of whom were in the running for this grand prize.
Onto the list of women who were in the battle for Sportswoman of the Year were four US athletes named Allyson Felix from athletics, Megan Rapinoe who won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the US, Mikaela Shiffrin for alpine skiing, Simone Biles for gymnastics. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a Jamaican athlete and Naomi Osaka from Japan who is an exceptional tennis player complete the list of all the candidates for this award. Simone Biles won the award in 2019 and did it again in 2020. She won it against new faces this time. However, Mikaela Shiffrin was the exception who was there for the award with her last year as well.
Team of the Year
The award is for, as the name suggests, for teams who have achieved incredible results in the previous year. France national football team currently has the hold of the award. Unfortunately, it could not return to Mercedes this year even though they won the Formula 1 season outstandingly. The year of 2018 also saw them win the prestigious award.
Like every year, though, they were faced with a fierce competition from Liverpool (Champions League winners), South Africa Rugby Team (Rugby World Cup winners), Toronto Raptors (NBA champions), US Women’s Football Team (Women’s World Cup winners) and Spanish basketball team (FIBA World Cup winners). Now that is a lot of winners challenging for an award that is rare to get your hands on. The winner, in the end, was the South Africa Rugby Union Team. It goes without saying though that the Mercedes team is no stranger to this award. So, clearly, they knew what they are up against.
Breakthrough of the Year
This award category famously beholds the next generation of great athletes. We have seen the likes of Kylian Mbappe (Football), Naomi Osaka (Tennis), Sergio Garcia (Golf) and Nico Rosberg (Formula 1) among many others find their way into the list of candidates who in later years of their careers have gone on to achieve incredible results for their teams and countries. This year, the competition was between a number of amazing athletes with Egan Bernal winning the award. Surprisingly though, not a single one of the young F1 car racers was in the shortlist.
Comeback of the Year
19-year-old Sophia Floersch has set an example following a Comeback Player of the Year win. The win is for everyone out there looking for inspiration to get back on their feet after taking a nosedive. The brave young German racing driver experienced a traumatic crash a year ago at the Macau Grand Prix. Eventually, she made her return in the 2019 Macau F3 race.
These awards are not the only ones awarded to people. Depending on circumstances, the ceremony gives away special awards like the Lifetime Achievement Award. Here is a list of other famous awards of the ceremony:
- Sportsperson with a Disability of the Year
- Action Sportsperson of the Year (formerly Alternative Sportsperson of the Year)
- Best Sporting Moment
The ‘Sport for Good’ has proven to be an effective way to deal with difficult social problems. Additionally, it also recognizes sport as an extraordinary human pursuit.