It was a star studded night! The 2014 Laureus World Awards which was held at Istana Budaya in the city of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia with 6 outstanding individuals honored along with a sports team and a sports project. Sebastian Vettel from Germany, the youngest four-time Formula One world champion in history at 26, was awarded Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. US swimmer Missy Franklin on the other hand became the youngest ever winner winning the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award at 18. Spain’s Marc Márquez received the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award, after winning the World MotoGP Championship at just 20.
It was certainly an inspirational night with athletes at relatively young age recognized for their efforts and accomplishments. Of course, it was a glittering awards night with Benedict Cumberbatch as the host and other big names attending the event. Those who were present include Giacomo Agostini, Vítor Baía, Robert Baker, Kenny Belaey, Jamie Bestwick, Marie Bochet, Ronald de Boer, Annabelle Bond, Daniel Brühl, Bob Burnquist, Fabio Capello, Dan Carter, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Johan Cruyff, Nicol David, Lee Chong Wei, Pandelela Rinong, Deng Yaping, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, Du Juan, Paulo Ferreira, Nacho Figueras, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ruud Gullit, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tony Hawk, Raphael Holzdeppe, Nico Hülkenberg, Michael Johnson, Franz Klammer, Michael Laudrup, Tegla Loroupe, Steve McManaman, Marc Márquez, Felipe Massa, Gaizka Mendieta, Luis Milla, Hidetoshi Nakata, Ilie Năstase, Alexey Nemov, Antonis Nikopolidis, Sophie Pascoe, Patrick Peterson, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Sarah Louise Rung, Jimmy Spithill, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Angelika Timanina, Steve Waugh, Eric Cantona, David Coulthard, Missy Franklin, Maya Gabeira, Stephanie Gilmore, Lewis Hamilton, Philip Köster, Antonis Nikopolidis, Sophie Pascoe, Nico Rosberg, Sarah Louise Rung, Axel Schulz, Jimmy Spithill, Angelika Timanina, Sebastian Vettel, Jamie Foxx & etc.
The winners were chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, sports jury made up of 46 of the greatest living sportsmen and sportswomen. The atmosphere at the press conference was fairly intense with serious questions exchanged between the media and the winners. Missy Franklin has a bubbly character and a big smile hanging on her face he whole time. She was extremely humble and it’s really inspiring thinking that there’s so much more she can achieve, she is the first woman swimmer in history to win six gold medals at a single World Championships – three individual and three relay and she’s only 18!
Sebastian Vettel on the other hand expressed his satisfaction as he was nominated 4 times in total before finally given the award for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. Both awards won by the Afghanistan Cricket Team and Magic Bus were extra meaningful as sports meant a lot more for the team and people working on it, the awards recognized the effort of individuals using sports to do so much more good for a country/community, it was a strong sign of hope.
Bayern Munich were presented with the Laureus World Team of the Year Award after becoming the first football club to complete the treble of UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup. 6 Bayern Munich players were nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year Award: Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Britain’s BMX star Jamie Bestwick, now based in the United States, won the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award after becoming the only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals, two more than legends such as Tony Hawk and Shaun White.
15th Laureus World Awards Winners :
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Sebastian Vettel
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Missy Franklin
Laureus World Team of the Year: Bayern Munich
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Marc Márquez
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Rafael Nadal
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Marie Bochet
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Jamie Bestwick
Laureus Spirit of Sport Award : Afghanistan Cricket Team
Laureus Sport for Good Award : Magic Bus, a sports-based community project in India.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people. Again, congratulations to all the winners!