Swiss Triathlete and Ironman World Champion Daniela Ryf has already made Laureus history by becoming the first Ironman competitor to make it on to the shortlist for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.
Nominated alongside Simone Biles, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Ester Ledecka and Mikaela Shiffrin, Ryf is perhaps the surprise package of the nominees, but make no mistake she deserves her spot. Widely acknowledged as the best in the world, she has dominated the Ironman scene for some time now and in 2018 won both Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
She is no stranger to Laureus though – in Switzerland, she is already a Laureus ambassador and as such, the nomination has a particular resonance.
“Yeah, it’s an important one,” she explains. “I think what Laureus does for kids is amazing, especially the programmes they have for girls. I know as a girl, I wasn’t always so confident and I think sport helped me build that and find something I’m good at.”
Ryf has already received recognition at home in Switzerland, being voted Sportswoman of the Year and is thrilled to be recognised on the international stage.
“I think the Laureus World Sports Award is definitely the biggest award you can get as an athlete and my fellow nominees are all amazing women who have achieved great results in the last year. I’m looking forward to meeting some of them!”
And although Ryf has no plans to give up for some time yet – “I want to keep racing and keep improving – I really like what I do!” – she is already looking to the future.
She explains, “We have a centre for Triathlon in my hometown – that’s what we’re trying to do with Laureus - invite kids from Laureus programmes to join and have training with young athletes. It’s really nice to see when you have kids doing sport – it’s the best education.”