In the hours before the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, sporting legends Ruud Gullit and Chris Hoy have been announced as the newest members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.
At the Ceremony this evening, Hoy and Gullit will be joined on the stage by fellow sporting legend and new Laureus Academy Member, cycling champion Fabian Cancellara.
Ruud Gullit is one of the Netherlands greatest ever footballers, with his national highlight being the first man to captain the Dutch team to victory in a major international championship in the 1988 European Championship. At the domestic level Gullit won three Dutch Eredivisie titles with Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven, three Italian Serie A titles and two European Cups with AC Milan. In 1987, Gullit received the Ballon d’Or and was named World Soccer Player of the Year in both 1987 and 1989.
“I’m fully aware of the great work Laureus Sport for Good undertakes around the world and I’m delighted to join forces with the greatest group of sporting legends as we look to continue the legacy President Mandela began in 2000. It’s an honour to be given the chance to help continue his legacy and I can’t wait to get started.” said the Dutchman.
Great Britain’s joint-most decorated Olympian Chris Hoy was at the pinnacle of the sport of track cycling for much of his career. He competed in four consecutive Olympic Games, winning one silver and six gold medals in the sprint disciplines. On the world championship stage, Hoy won 11 titles, dominating the sport throughout his career. Hoy retired from track cycling in 2013, following his historic fifth and sixth Olympic gold medals at London 2012.
The Scot soon switched his two wheels for four and in 2016, Hoy’s passion and interest in motor racing culminated in him becoming the first Summer Olympic medalist to compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Hoy added:
"Sport has had an incredible impact on my life and it’s an honour to be inducted into the Laureus World Sports Academy here in Monaco where President Mandela made his iconic speech 17 years ago. I’m passionate about using sport to help youth, and I’m looking forward to getting to work supporting Laureus Sport for Good in the future.”
Gullit and Hoy join the 62 current members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. Academy Members volunteer their time to promote the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world. Laureus currently supports more than 100 programmes in around 40 countries.
"I’m delighted to welcome Ruud and Chris into the Academy here in Monaco where it all started 17 years ago. They both reached the pinnacle of their sports and I know they are as dedicated to helping us use sport to help young people as they were in their own careers. It’s great to have them on board.” said Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy.