Sports are perhaps the most popular form of entertainment today. But they are more than just entertainment – they are a source of inspiration for countless people, young and old, all over the globe.
Sports have the gift of uniting people from different countries, different cultures – for this, it deserves all the recognition it can get.
If you take a look at Betway sports betting markets, you’ll be able to pinpoint the most popular sports around the world – they are always listed first. These sports get the most attention not just from bettors but from the media as well. And, of course, from the general public who follow them faithfully, perhaps betting on them at Betway, but always receptive to the positive and inspiring messages and actions done by their greatest stars.
These stars who inspire and do for the good of humanity are recognized each year by Laureus, an organization that celebrates excellence in sports and its power to transform the lives of children and young people.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does,” said Nelson Mandela, the first Patron of Laureus, at the inaugural World Sports Award in 2000. “It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.”
The Laureus World Sports Awards are offered to athletes and teams from all over the world for their outstanding sports achievements throughout the year. The ceremony has a Nominations Panel consisting of more than a thousand members of the sports media from over 70 countries, voting for the nominees in six categories:
- Sportsman of the Year
- Sportswoman of the Year
- Team of the Year
- Comeback of the Year
- Breakthrough of the Year
Here are this year’s winners:
Sportsman of the Year
For this year’s Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, the nominees were Swedish athlete Armand Duplantis, Ugandan long-distance runner Joshua Cheptegei, American basketball star LeBron James, British racer Lewis Hamilton, Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski, and the winner, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal who won his 20th Grand Slam title this year.
Sportswoman of the Year
The nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year were Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen, American basketball player Breanna Stewart, Kenyan long-distance runner Brigid Kosgei, Italian skier Federica Brignone, French footballer Wendie Renard, and the winner, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, winner of the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award in 2019, who became the first Asian tennis player to reach World #1.
World Team of the Year
The nominations for this year’s Laureus World Team of the Year were the Argentine men’s Rugby Union team, US football team Kansas City Chiefs, UK football club Liverpool FC, US basketball team LA Lakers, Germany’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, and the winners, the German football club Bayern Munich, that won the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal treble this year.
Comeback of the Year
Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year is, as its name suggests, recognizing the best comeback in the world of sports. This year’s winner is Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot. Parrot was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last January and retired from sports for a six-month course of chemotherapy. Two months after his final treatment, he went on to win the X-Games snowboarding big air event in Oslo, followed by two further Gold medals across the year.
Breakthrough of the Year
The Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year, recognizing new and young talent making a name for themselves in the world of sports, was awarded to American football player Patrick Mahomes who, at the age of 24, led his team – the Kansas City Chiefs – to their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years.
Laureus Sports for Good Award
Finally, here is an award that honours those who make “enormous contributions” to sports or to society through sports. Over the years, this award recognized the achievements of Kip Keino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dikembe Mutombo, the Mathare Youth Sports Association, among others. This year, the award went to KICKFORMORE by KICKFAIR, a program in Germany that uses football as a universal language and a unifying force, thus creating positive change.
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