Spirit of Sport looks back at the biggest night in the sporting calendar

Spirit of Sport - May 2024
In the latest episode of the Laureus-presented show, Spirit of Sport, we re-live the 2024 Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid – where the greatest names in sport, both past and present, turned out for the ‘Athletes Awards’. 
The city of Madrid is no stranger to sporting drama. Just 24 hours before this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid on April 22, Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-2 in El Clásico at the Santiago Bernabeu. The scorer of the winning goal, Jude Bellingham, found himself clutching a Laureus the next evening at the incredible Palacio de Cibeles, as the legends of sport turned out to celebrate the achievements of this year’s winners across seven categories. 

This month’s Spirit of Sport captures every moment of the drama: including Bellingham – winner of the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award – catching up with Laureus World Sportsman of the Year winner Novak Djokovic (who attended El Clásico in the company of 2022 Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tom Brady) for a behind-the-scenes chat about his performance against Barcelona and his teammates at Real Madrid. 
Bellingham then teamed up with the greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt, on the red carpet, where they performed Bellingham’s iconic celebration for the world’s media and assembled fans. The new king of Real Madrid then accepted his Award from last year’s winner, Carlos Alcaraz – moments that happen #OnlyAtLaureus. “It’s a great night to pick up a trophy and be around so many amazing sportspeople,” he said. 

Spanish midfielder, Aitana Bonmatí, repeated the ‘double’ won by Lionel Messi last year as she took home both the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year and Laureus World Team of the Year Awards.

The greatest female footballer in the world, resplendent in a ballgown, posed for photos alongside Spain teammate Salma Paralluelo, while the winner of Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year, 14-year-old skateboarder Arisa Trew, performed skateboarding tricks on the red carpet. 
Wheelchair tennis star Diede de Groot took home the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award and revealed her excitement at being in the presence of another tennis great. “I heard Rafa Nadal is here tonight,” she said excitedly on the red carpet.

There were also tales of valour overcoming adversity: Simone Biles received the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award for her four gold medals at gymnastics’ world championships after a near two-year absence from the sport. 

Once again, the Awards showed that sport has the power to change the world as Fundación Rafa Nadal won the Laureus Sport for Good Award for their work in vulnerable communities in Spain and India.
On the Saturday before, new Laureus Ambassador Garbiñe Muguruza – who announced her retirement at the Awards – was joined by Laureus World Sports Academy Members Nicol David, Alessandro Del Piero and Michael Johnson on a visit to Fundación A LA PAR. 

Based on a campus on the outskirts of Madrid, this project supports hundreds of young athletes with intellectual disabilities across 20 different sports. “It was a beautiful experience,” said Muguruza. “I saw lots of great people making a huge effort and I am happy to be part of the Laureus family.”

Find Spirit of Sport on TV, online and stay tuned to Laureus’ social and digital channels for more unique and compelling stories and insights from stellar names from the world of sport.  

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