This is the 20th anniversary of the prestigious Laureus Award which celebrates the best in the world of sport. – Getty Images
Hello and welcome to the highlights of Sportstar’s coverage of the Laureus World Sports Awards 2020. I’m Lavanya and I will be taking you through the ceremony this evening. Our correspondent, Stan Rayan, brought us updates live from Berlin.
As it happened: Thanks for joining us tonight. Keep up with us on Sportstar for news and updates from across the world of sport. Goodbye and goodnight!
The full list of winners is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles
Laureus World Team of the Year: South Africa Men’s Rugby Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Egan Bernal
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Sophia Flörsch
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oksana Masters
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim
Laureus Best Sporting Moment: ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar
Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Dirk Nowitzki
Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Spanish Basketball Federation
Laureus Sport for Good Award: South Bronx United
And now, for the most prestigious award of the night – the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award. German basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki for his contribution to the sport. Widely regarded to be the greatest European basketball player ever, Nowitzki spent his entire 21-year career at the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki retired at the end of the 2018-19 season, and will go down in history as the only player to record at least 31,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, 1,000 steals, 1,000 blocks and 1,000 three-pointers.
This was our tweet earlier. Move aside, Paul. We have new soothsayers in town.
Like we said earlier, Siya Kolisi was born ready to take this award tonight. The Springboks win the Laureus Team of the Year for their incredible triumph in the Rugby World Cup in 2019. Siya Kolisi gave a passionate acceptance speech about the power of sport and the influence of a sportsperson. Kolisi for PM anyone?
South Bronx United, a New York-based football programme has been honoured with the Laureus20 Sport for Good Award. The programme uses football to achieve educational milestones for young people from underprivileged backgrounds.
A racing accident at the Macau Grand Prix in 2018 left Sophia Floersch with a spinal fracture that required a 11-hour surgery and months of rehab, but the Mercedes F3 driver completed a remarkable recovery to get back to the circuit she crashed at a year later. Sophia won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year award. Mercedes drivers have had a great haul at the awards this year.
This iconic moment was the image of the tournament for India after winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup. – AFP
Sachin Tendulkar collects the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year 2000-2020 for this World Cup-winning celebration in 2011. It was India’s first WC win on home soil and its second cricket world title. Sachin was honoured by tennis legend Boris Becker and former competitor and good friend Steve Waugh.
When Boris was asked how good his cricket is, he replied: “I love the grass, I love the colours. But I am no good. I’ve been to India and if you visit India and see how they love the game, you will kneel before this man.”The Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year goes to Egan Bernal. The 22-year-old became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France. He is the youngest champion at the tournament for 110 years. He is also the first Colombian to win the tournament.
Radiation from Chernobyl caused limb impairments for Oksana Masters but she did not let that stop her from dominating the world of Skiing. She has five golds and a silver medal at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, along with a cross-country overall World title. Masters is the Laureus Sportperson of the Year with a Disability. Her mother joined her on stage as she received a standing ovation from the members present.
Is there anything Simone Biles cannot do? She won five medals in the Gymnastics World Championships with a career tally of 25. The decorated gymnast wins her third Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award tonight for a stellar showing in 2019. One of the broadcasters for Laureus asks Nadia Comeneci what Simone’s secret it and she responds, “She’s got great legs! I am 150 per cent sure she will win a medal in Tokyo.” High praise. Simone joined the gathering in Berlin via live link from Houston, where she’s training for the Olympics.
We have our first back-to-back winner of the night. Snowboarding star Chloe Kim won the Sportsperson of the Year in 2019 and she walks away once more with the Laureus World Action Sportperson of the Year. Just 19, Chloe has already won five X Games gold medals, an Olympic gold and a World Championship gold. She now has two Laureus awards to her name too. What an inspiration.
Dominating world basketball, the Spanish Basketball Federation wins the Laureus Exceptional Achievement Award. This Award has only been granted four times in the history of this ceremony. The Men’s team won the FIBA World Cup in China and has been touted for success at the Tokyo Olympics later this year too. The Spanish Women have enjoyed success too, having won the last four EuroBasket Championships.
Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi share the Laureus Sportman of the Year Award. This is the first time in the 20-year history of the award that votes have been tied for an honour. Messi, the 2019 Ballon D’Or winner, could not make it to the awards and sent his gratitude to the academy and his voters through a video message. The Argentine is the first player from a team sport to win this award.
And we have our first winners.
11:50 pm: Hugh Grant begins the night with a quip about Brexit. “Good to be back in the European Union, albeit for the night,” says the Notting Hill star.
11.40 pm: Ahead of the start of the awards ceremony, Kobe Bryant was remembered. The LA Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna passed away in a tragic chopper crash in January. A few guests have also chosen to wear accessories to honour Bryant. Grant asked for applause, not silence, as a mark of respect to their lives and achievements.
11.30 pm: If you followed our tweets on @Sportstarweb, you’d see a range of sporting icons from across the fields coming together under one roof for a celebration of sporting excellence in the year gone by. We are a few minutes away from the ceremony itself.
10.30pm: It’s time for the red carpet. The stars have started to congregate here at the Verti Music Hall. Stay with us for the main ceremony. We are scheduled to begin at 11.30pm IST.
There’s been a small change in personnel at Berlin. Sharon Stone, who was slated to host the ceremony has had to withdraw and taking her place is none other than Golden Globe winning actor, Hugh Grant.
Sharon Stone has had to withdraw as Host of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on February 17. Hollywood star Hugh Grant, winner of a Golden Globe, will now host the landmark 20th anniversary Laureus Awards. pic.twitter.com/ouw9vYs2tD
— Laureus (@LaureusSport) February 15, 2020
Here are the nominees this year:
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Eliud Kipchoge will become the first African man to win this award if he does tonight. If he does, he will be joining the likes of Michael Schumacher, Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Sebastian Vettel if he does. Stan caught up with him earlier and here is what he had to say.
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Can World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce manage to pip World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe for top honours or will it be America’s most decorated gymnast, Simone Biles who walks away with the trophy? Stay with us to find out.
COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
SPORTSPERSON WITH DISABILITY
Diede de Groot
BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR
Andy Ruiz Jr.
Japan National Rugby Union Team
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Mercedes AMG Petronas
Spain Men’s National Basketball Team
United States Women’s national soccer team
South Africa national rugby team
SPORTING MOMENT 2000-2020
Associacao Chapecoense de Futebol
Natalie du Toit
This is the 20th anniversary of the prestigious award ceremony that celebrates the best in the world of sport. Here’s a preview of the Awards this year, from our correspondent Stan Rayan, who is covering the marquee event live in Berlin.
Eliud Kipchoge appeared to be a big favourite to win the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award when he made history by running the marathon under two hours late last year but the new developments in his running shoes story are likely to add a twist to his chances.
The World Athletics, the sport’s governing body, had banned the shoes which Kipchoge wore on his under-two hours run to make the sport equal for all.
The Laureus awards will be presented at the Verti Music Hall here on Monday night and Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who with 19 is very close to Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam title record of 20, F1 star Lewis Hamilton, football great Lionel Messi, golf’s great comeback man Tiger Woods and motorcycling star Marc Marquez are the other nominees for the men’s award.
Meanwhile, two track and field moms, Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who lit up the World Championships in Doha last year, footballer Megan Rapinoe, tennis star Naomi Osaka, gymnastic wonder Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin (skiing) are in the race for the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year title.
Meanwhile, one hears that Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Carried on the shoulders of the nation’ – the scene after India’s 2011 ICC World Cup triumph at home – is among the top favourites for the Laureus Sporting Moment for the years 2000-2020 with South African female amputee swimmer Natalie du Toit expected to give the Indian cricketer a hot fight. Toit became the first female amputee swimmer ever to qualify for the able-bodied Olympics in 2008 in Beijing.
The Laureus Sport for Good award was presented on Sunday and it went to South Bronx United, a project which used football to change the lives of young people and poor communities in New York.
Andrew So, SBU’s co-founder and executive director, and two inspiring youngsters who benefited from the project – Mohammed Konate, who came from the Ivory Coast to the US many years ago, and Maria Martinez – received the award.
Throwback to Laureus 2019
Here’s a little something to help brush up your memory of the awards and the winners last year – from Novak Djokovic and Arsene Wenger to Naomi Osaka.
Where to watch
The Laureus Awards 2020 will be telecast on the Star Sports Network. You can also stream the awards on Hotstar.