The Laureus Sports Awards are essentially the sporting equivalent of the Academy Awards. They have been around for 13 years now and are the only awards that pit the best of every sport against each other! So let’s get the negative out the way. Supersport have rights to show the Awards as they showed them this morning at 7 am, but with a South African nominated, they couldn’t show the awards live, but rather showed a replay of a 6 nations game? I have tweeted to @supersportblitz and @supersportcom and neither bother with a reply!
But now that my soap box is safely put away, lets focus on what really matters. The ceremony was held last night in London and here were the results:
Sportsman of the Year
Nomminees: Novak Djokovic (Tennis), Usain Bolt (Athletics), Cadel Evans (Cycling), Lionel Messi (Football), Dirk Nowitzki (Basketball) and Sebastien Vettel(Formula 1)
Winner: Novak Djokovic
This was always only a two-way race between Djokovic and Vettel, but as we have previously stated, Djokovic was the worlds best last year. He is the 6th tennis win in this category in the 13 year history and in a time when Federer and Nadal are playing, it just shows how dominant he really is. He must surely be on his way to a nomination again next year!
Jabu’s Pick: Novak Djokovic
Sportswoman of the Year
Nomminees: Vivian Cheruiyot (Athletics), Maria Hofl-Riesch (Alpine Skiing),Carmelita Jeter (Athletics), Petra Kvitova (Tennis), Homare Sawa (Football) and Yani Tseng (Golf)
Winner: Vivan Cheruiyot
I must ashamedly admit that I had never heard of Maria Hofl-Riesch or Carmelita Jeter before, but Vivian Cheruiyot, a Kenyan, was outstanding this year. She won gold medals at the World Championships for both the 10 000 and 5 000 distances and will be a front-runner (what a pun!) for the Olympic gold.
Jabu’s Pick: Yani Tseng (Read what I wrote about her here)
World Team of the Year
Nomminees: All Blacks (rugby), Barcelona (Football), Dallas Mavericks (Basketball), Japans Women’s team (Football) and Red Bull (Formula 1)
Winner: FC Barcelona
I hate Barcelona. You all know this. They won the Laureus Award for winning a two team league, for winning the Champions league and for being douche bags all round. They definately promote the good of sport by the way they tap players up and dive and fain injury! Minus Lionel Messi they would finish 4th in La Liga.
Jabu’s Pick: Japans Women’s team – In a year of devastation for their country, they rose against the odds to win a thrilling World Cup
Breakthrough of the Year
Nomminees: Yohan Blake (Athletics), Mo Farah (Athletics), Petra Kvitova (Tennis), Rory Mcllroy (Golf), Li Na (Tennis) and Oscar Pistorius (Athletics)
Winner: Rory McIlroy
I think this was a two-horse race quite honestly between Rory and Oscar, but you can not fault the year that Rory had. He was fantastic and after the meltdown at the Masters, his terrific composure at the US Open made him the breakthrough star. He has a promising career ahead of him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up another major trophy this year (just please don’t beat one of the Saffers in a playoff!)
Jabu’s Pick: Head – Rory, Heart – Oscar
Comeback of the Year
Nomminees: Eric Abidal (Football), Darren Clarke (Golf), Crusaders (Rugby), Sergio Garcia (Golf), Liu Xiang (Athletics) and Queensland Reds (Rugby)
Winner: Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke was awarded the prize for his win at the Open Championship at the age of 42. This came after years of impotent performances where he constantly missed out. His victory against the odds is what one him this award. I however feel that this award should be more for people or teams that have faced mass adversity and risen to the top. And that’s why. . . .
Jabu’s Pick: is Eric Abidal. He is the only good thing about Barcelona and his recovery is something you couldn’t help but get a lump in the throat for!
Sportsperson with a disability
Nomminees: Daniel Diaz (Swimming), Terezinha Guihermina (Athletics), Oscar Pistorius (Athletics), Esther Vergeer (Wheelchair Tennis), David Weir (Wheelchair Athletics) and Irek Zaripov (Nordic Skiing)
Winner: Oscar Pistorius
There was always only going to be one winner in this category. When Oscar Pistorius went to the World Championships he was already a winner, but when he came home with a medal he was a world name (although in fairness he already was). He is now the third South African to win this award after Ernst van Dyk and Natalie du Toit. We are super proud of the blade runner here in South Africa!
Jabu’s Pick: The Blade runner of course
Action Sportsperson of the year
Nomminees: Jamie Bestwick (BMX(bicycle moto-cross)),Philip Koster (Windsurfing), Carissa Moore (Surfing), Travis Rice (Snowboarding), Kelly Slater (Surfing) and Shaun White (Skateboarding/Snowboarding)
Winner: Kelly Slater
Kelly Slater emulated the great Roger Federer by taking home his fourth Laureus sports award. We named him as one of the 2011 sports stars of the year in our end of year review. He won an unprecedented 11th world title and when he should be fading into the twilight of his career, Kelly keeps getting better. Jordy Smith we await your response!
Jabu’s Pick: Kelly Slater
Lifetime Achievement Award
Sir Bobby Charlton
Having won the World Cup with England in 1966, he had an incredible career with Manchester United playing for them 606 times and scoring 199 goals. He played an incredible 106 games for England scoring 49 goals. And he was mainly seen as playmaking midfielder. Congratulations on your lifetime achievement award!
Sport for Good Award
Rai won the spirit for Good Award due to the fact that the former Brazilian international is a campaigner for social justice and philanthropy.
To all the winners, thank you for giving us an extra reason to watch sport! To the rest of the South Africans, Oscar became the 6th South African to win a Laureus, but we would love to add some more next year