Sporting stars burn bright at Laureus Awards, but Djokovic and Cheruiyot brightest of all
Stars of the sporting world recently descended on London for the Laureus Sports Awards and under the hype of the Olympic games saw Novak Djokovic and Vivian Cheruiyot taking away the awards for Sportsman and Woman of the year.
The Laureus Academy, which votes on the awards, is made up of 47 of the greatest living sportsmen. Members include Jack Nicklaus, Michael Johnson, Monica Seles, Steve Waugh and Franz Beckenbauer. Winning an award shows your achievements are recognised by true sporting greats – a sporting equivalent of an Oscar.
Djokovic beat Dirk Nowitzki, Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Sebastian Vettel and Cadel Evans to the award in a particularly competitive male category, whilst other winners were: FC Barcelona who took home the team of the year award; Oscar Pistorius who won the Disability Award and; surfer Kelly Slater who won the Action Sports Award.
Djokovic said: “It’s a spectacular feeling and difficult to describe with words. Considering the greatness of the others who were nominated, they all had an amazing 2011 and I couldn’t ask for more, what stands out for me today in London is standing shoulder to shoulder with the legends of sport.”
It was also a good night for golfers as Darren Clarke received the Comeback Award for his amazing Open Championship victory and Rory McIlroy won the Breakthrough Award.
The Awards also celebrate the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation, which endeavours to use sport to help people across the world. Former Brazilian footballer Rai won the Sport For Good Award for his campaigning for social justice. Bobby Charlton’s incredible career was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
With its dual aims of recognising sporting excellence and improving the lives of those far removed from the glamour of the red carpet, the Laureus Awards gave London a taste of what is to come in the summer as the superstars of the world of sport will once again descend on London, this time to compete for gold medals rather than to celebrate their peers.