Biggest names in Sport celebrate Nomination for 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards

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February 11, 2015 

A glittering collection of the world’s greatest sports stars have been nominated for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by the world’s media. The winners will be revealed at the Awards Ceremony in Shanghai on April 15.

The Nominations – six in each category - have set up some eye-catching confrontations. None more so than for the Laureus Team of the Year Award, where the shortlist has produced the ultimate football showdown: the German World Cup Team v Real Madrid, winners of a tenth Champions League.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo will once again be trying to become the first team player to win the individual Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, but he is up against some ferocious opposition. Last year he was beaten by Sebastian Vettel, this time he faces UK pair Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlory, tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Spain’s World MotoGP champion Marc Márquez and Renaud Lavillenie, the French pole vaulter who broke Sergey Bubka’s 21-year-old world record.

The impact of the FIFA World Cup is also felt in the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year category where Germany’s Mario Götze, who scored the winning goal in the final, and Colombia’s James Rodriguez, winner of the Golden Boot as leading scorer, are both nominated.

Although not picked for an individual Award, record four-time Laureus winner Roger Federer receives two Nominations for the part he played, along with Stan Wawrinka, in the first ever success by the Swiss Davis Cup Team, who are shortlisted for both Team of the Year AND Breakthrough of the Year.

Serena Williams, nominated for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, will be hoping for her record-equalling fourth Laureus Award, but she is challenged by the emotional appeal of China’s Li Na, who won her second Grand Slam in 2014, but had to retire later in the year. Among the other Nominees in this category are Winter Olympic gold medallists Tina Maze and Marit Bjørgen.

Wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden, who won the marathon Grand Slam of Boston, Chicago, London and New York for the second straight year, will be hoping to win the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award after missing out last year. This time, in a very strong category, her opponents include Roman Petushkov, the first athlete to win six gold medals at the Winter Paralympics and Anna Schaffelhuber, who won all five Alpine gold medals at Sochi.

Nominees for Laureus World Comeback of the Year include Schalk Burger, who returned to South African rugby after beating life-threatening meningitis and Italian footballer Francesco Acerbi who beat testicular cancer.

Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, six-time world surfing champion, will be bidding to win her second Laureus Action Sportsperson of the Year Award. Her opposition includes Gabriel Medina, Brazil’s first ever men’s surfing world champion, and American skateboard sensation Nyjah Huston.

The full list of Nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis - won Wimbledon for second time; replaced Rafael Nadal as world No.1

Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing - won second Formula One World Championship, with 11 victories

Renaud Lavillenie (France) Athletics - broke Sergey Bubka’s 21-year-old pole vault world record

Rory McIlroy (UK) Golf – No.1 golfer in the world, won The Open and USPGA Major Championships

Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling - won his second straight World MotoGP title at the age of 21

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football - winner of the Ballon d’Or/World Player of the Year award

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award

Valerie Adams (NZ) Athletics – undefeated in shot put for four years; was IAAF Women’s Athlete of Year

Marit Bjørgen (Norway) Nordic Skiing – in Sochi became most decorated female Winter Olympian

Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics – broke three world records in three different events in two weeks

Tina Maze (Slovenia) Alpine Skiing – won two gold medals in the Winter Olympics, Slovenia’s first ever

Li Na (China) Tennis – won second Grand Slam, reached world No.2 ranking, then had to retire

Serena Williams (US) Tennis – won 18th career Grand Slam, level with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova

Laureus World Team of the Year Award

European Ryder Cup Team (Golf) – beat US 16½-11½, for third straight win and sixth in the last seven

Germany Men’s Football Team - became first European team to win the FIFA World Cup in South America

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team (Germany) – won Constructors’ World Championship

Real Madrid Football Team (Spain) – won a record tenth Champions League/European Cup victory

San Antonio Spurs (US) Basketball - won NBA Championship for fifth time, beating Miami Heat 4-1

Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis) – inspired by Roger Federer, won Davis Cup for the first time

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award

Marin Cilić (Croatia) Tennis – won first ever Grand Slam at the US Open, beating Kei Nishikori in final

Mario Götze (Germany) Football - scored the winning goal for Germany in the FIFA World Cup Final

Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Motor Racing – won three Grand Prix for Red Bull in his rookie year

James Rodriguez (Colombia) Football – won Golden Boot in FIFA World Cup as leading scorer 

Mikaela Shiffrin (US) Alpine Skiing – at 18 years 345 days became youngest Olympic Slalom champion

Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis) – inspired by Roger Federer, won Davis Cup for the first time

Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award

Francesco Acerbi (Italy) Football – recovered from cancer to return to Serie A and the Italy football squad

Schalk Burger (S.Africa) Rugby – survived life-threatening bacterial meningitis to return to Springboks team

Diego Milito (Argentina) Football – returned to Racing who won the Argentine title for first time in 13 years

Jo Pavey (UK) Athletics - won European Championships 10,000 metres gold ten months after giving birth

Pierre Vaultier (France) Snowboarding - won Winter Olympics gold just two months after ligament damage

Oliver Wilson (UK) Golf - 792nd in the world rankings, he won his first event after 228 European Tour starts

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award

Shelley Gautier (Canada) Cycling – has won all tricycle T1 UCI para-cycling world titles over past five years

Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing – won Boston, Chicago, London and New York marathons

Roman Petushkov (Russia) Nordic Skiing – first athlete to win six gold medals at a Paralympic Winter Games

Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) Alpine Skiing – won all five Alpine gold medals at a Paralympic Winter Games

Sarah Storey (UK) Cycling - won four world titles in her first year back after giving birth to her daughter

Yuk Wing Leung (Hong Kong SAR China) Boccia – four golds at World Championships, Asian Para Games

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award

Alan Eustace (US) Skydiving – jumped 135,889ft to break Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 free fall world record

Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing – won her sixth World Surfing Championship

Nyjah Huston (US) Skateboarding – won X-Games Street gold medal with highest ever score of 95.00

Sage Kotsenburg (US) Snowboarding – won inaugural Slopestyle men’s gold medal at the Winter Olympics

Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Cycling – rode treacherous Cuillin Ridge on Scotland’s Isle of Skye

Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing – at 20, won Brazil's first ever World Surfing Championship

For more detailed biographies of Nominees go to http://china.laureus.com/

The 16th Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2014, is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 48 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in the Grand Theatre, Shanghai on Wednesday, April 15.

Double Olympic champion Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “This is going to be yet another classic year. Each year we think the list of Nominees cannot get better, but then it does. The Sportsman of the Year and Team of the Year categories look amazing. You could make a case for every Nominee to be the winner. And I think the Disability category is probably the strongest list of athletes I have ever seen over the 16 years of Laureus. It’s going to an exciting night in Shanghai discovering which of these great athletes will receive Laureus Awards.”

Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane.

Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremonies in the past have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 150 sports-based community projects in 34 countries around the world that have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people.

What to Watch:

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