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5 Inspirational Facts About the Laureus World Sports Awards

VO: Ashley Bowman

Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic, Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Sebastian Vettel, Serena Williams and Simone Biles are just some of the famous athletes that have been awarded the Laureus World Sports Award. Not only do the Laureus Awards honor the best moments in sports and the best athletes in sports; they were also challenged by Nelson Mandela to use Sport for Good. WatchMojo counts down five inspirational facts about the Laureus World Sports Awards.

For more information on the Laureus World Sports Awards, click HERE.

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5 Inspirational Facts About the Laureus World Sports Awards

This is an awards show that none other than Nelson Mandela challenged to use sport as a force for good. Welcome to, and today we’re serving up five inspirational facts on the Laureus World Sports Awards.

#5: The Laureus World Sports Awards Honor the Best in Sports

Founded in 2000, the Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award ceremony honoring remarkable individuals from the sporting world and celebrating the greatest achievements in sports throughout the previous year. The Laureus Nominations Panel consists of professional sports editors, columnists and broadcasters who vote to create an initial list of six nominations in five categories: Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World Team of the Year, Laureus World Comeback of the Year, and Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year. Then, a specialist panel chooses the nominees for the two final categories, which are the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year, and the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. In 2017 for the first time in history, Laureus engaged with sports fans around the world to vote for the Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award. These moments looked beyond the scoreboard or podium; they symbolized the true values of sport and brought to life the message that sport has the power to change the world. Finally, members of the Laureus World Sports Academy select the category winners by voting in a secret ballot, with the winners announced at the annual gala, which has been held in Monaco, Shanghai and Berlin, and generally takes place in the first couple of months of the year.

#4: Laureus Uses Sport to Do Good in the World

Laureus Sport for Good uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage by supporting over 100 organizations around the world, like “Fight for Peace” in Brazil, the “Waves for Change” surf therapy program in South Africa and “Moving the Goalposts,” a program which uses football to empower young girls and women in rural Kenya. The organization’s vision is to use sport as a tool for social change, and who can disagree with that?

#3: Some Big Names Have Won Top Honors at the Laureus Awards

Previous winners for Sportsman of the Year include 4-time winners Roger Federer and Usain Bolt, with the latter taking the 2017 honors, tennis player and 3-time winner Novak Djokovic, 2-time winners Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods as well as Rafael Nadal and Sebastian Vettel. Serena Williams stands out as a 3-time winner of the Sportswoman of the Year award; while gymnast Simone Biles was the 2017 winner. Others winners at the 2017 awards in Monte Carlo included breakthrough athlete Nico Rosberg, who retired in the wake of clinching the Formula One championship, the Chicago Cubs for the Team of the Year, Michael Phelps for Comeback of the Year, and last but certainly not least, quadruple amputee and member of the Italian fencing team at the Paralympic games Beatrice Vio, who took home gold at the 2016 summer games in Rio and was greeted with the longest standing ovation in Monaco.

#2: People Attending the Awards Are Encouraged to Wear Sneakers

Laureus is known for tugging at the heartstrings – after all, the 2017 winner of the Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award went to the Barcelona under-12 team that stopped its victory celebration to console the losing Japanese squad. But it’s also clearly a progressive organization that can let its down hair and have fun, as evidenced by the fact that guests to the black tie event are encouraged to wear sneakers to show their belief in the power of sport. Many go on to give the sneakers to raise donations, which are then distributed to the various organizations Laureus supports.

#1: Nelson Mandela Believed Sport Could Do Good

The organization and event’s greater, lofty ambitions to do Good Through Sport can be traced back to the inaugural edition in 2000: that’s when a then-81-year-old Nelson Mandela challenged the organizations and sports community to use sport for good in a moving speech that continues to inspire the organization and awards show to this day.

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