February 20, 2013
As the two week mark until the Laureus World Sports Awards 2013 draws nearer and nearer, what better way is there to get ready for the big night than looking at some of our favourite Nominees from years past?
First up is Laureus Alternative Sportsperson Nominee 2006, Danny Way.
Danny was up for the Award (now known as the Laureus Action Sportsperson Award) along with Angelo D'Arrigo, Chelsea Georgeson, Jeremy Stenberg, Kelly Slater, Shaun White and Tanner Hall. And though it was Angelo who won on the night, Danny’s achievements that year remain something worth remembering.
In July 2005, with more than 100 million watching on Television, the 31-year-old Californian jumped the Great Wall of China on his skateboard.
Taking off from a 65 feet (10.66m) Mega Ramp at a speed of 50 mph (80kmph), Way cleared a 70 feet (21.33m) section of the Great Wall five times. He also threw in 360 degree spins on his last three runs. And he did it all with a severely sprained ankle which he injured practising in China. A week later, still in pain, he chose to defend his title in the X Games Big Air event, winning the gold medal on his final attempt.
Way invented the Mega Ramp, which he previously used to set three world records for longest distance jumped (79ft, 24.07m), highest air on a vert pipe (23ft 5ins, 7.01m) and speed (44mph, 71 kmph).
The sport's big-air pioneer, Way has also dropped into a vert pipe from a helicopter 35 feet above an airport tarmac.
Achievements like these, particularly in his line of work, does come with quite the cost. In 1994, Way broke his neck in a surfing accident, which took him a year to recover. Between 1999 and 2002, he underwent surgery seven times – five occasions on his knee and twice on his shoulder. But Way accepts this is the nature of what he is doing and accepts the consequences of pushing himself in this way, understanding that there will be another injury to work through, and another rehabilitation.
Check out the Nominees for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award 2013 here!