March 9, 2013
Laureus World Sports Academy Members Mark Spitz and Daley Thompson were given a special welcome to Rio de Janeiro by 2002 Laureus World Action Sportsman of the Year Bob Burnquist on the Copacabana beach on Saturday afternoon.
Brazilian Bob, who won a Laureus World Sports Award in 2002, showed them a specially designed sand sculpture in the shape of a Laureus statuette.
Bob said: “I am from Rio and so to welcome the Laureus Academy is a great honour. I was one of the first Brazilians to win a Laureus Award and it is fantastic that the Awards are being held in my home city.”
Swimming champion Mark Spitz, who won an incredible nine Olympic gold medals, one silver and a bronze, admitted he knows Rio well and added: “Brazil is representing South America over the next few years and I am honoured to be here. I have had business in Rio in the past and Rio puts on a great carnival; with the World Cup and the Olympic Games they are going to be putting on a different kind of carnival. It is so great to see this Laureus sculpture on the beach.”
Fellow Olympic champion & Laureus Academy Member, decathlete Daley Thompson, added: “After coming from the rain in London I am so glad to be in Rio, and it looks like a great place to host the Laureus World Sports Awards, and the Games.”