Olympic Stars Jessica Ennis, Allyson Felix, Missy Franklin, And Serena Williams Among Favourites For

Laureus World Sports Awards 2013
•           Jamaica’s sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce among hopefuls
•           Japanese wrestler Saori Yoshida in contention after third Olympic gold
•           Lindsey Vonn hoping for Nomination after fourth Skiing World Cup win
•           Laureus Global Media Selection Panel to vote for SIX Nominees
•           For more details on possible contenders go to
•           Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Rio de Janeiro
LONDON, November 13, 2012 – Spectacular performances at the London Olympic Games have produced a string of impressive candidates for Nomination for the 2013 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.
British heptathlon gold medal winner Jessica Ennis, one of the heroes of the home crowd in the London Olympic Stadium, is one of many contenders, including a trio of multi-medal American Olympians in Allyson Felix, Missy Franklin and Serena Williams.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is recognised as the premier honours event in the international sporting calendar and the Awards Ceremony provides a high profile focus as stars of the sporting world come together to salute the finest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. The winners will be unveiled during a globally televised Awards Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 100 community sports projects around the world that have helped to improve the lives of over one-and-a-half million young people.
First on the track in the Olympic Stadium in London and carrying the hopes of the British nation, Jessica Ennis dominated the heptathlon and won the gold medal, beating Lilli Schwarzkopf by 306 pts. Her time in the 100 metres hurdles was a new British record and also the fastest in a heptathlon. She was subsequently voted European Women’s Athlete of the Year.
Serena Williams made it a year to remember, recovering from a blood clot on her lung in 2011 to win both Olympic singles and doubles gold medals, with sister Venus. It made her the only player in history to have won the Career Golden Grand Slam - all four Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic gold medal - in singles AND doubles. She also won Wimbledon for a fifth time and the US Open for a fourth time, giving her a career total of 15 Grand Slam singles titles.
Allyson Felix became one of the leading performers at London 2012, when she won three gold medals at one Olympiad to match the great Wilma Rudolph and Florence Griffith-Joyner. She won the individual 200 metres, improving on silver medals in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, and also won gold medals in the 4 x 100 metres and the 4 x 400 metres relay.
In the pool, fellow American Missy Franklin, at just 17, was one of the youngest stars of the Olympic Games, winning four gold medals - two individual in the 100 and 200 metres backstroke and two team golds in the 4 x 100 metres medley and the 4 x 200 metres freestyle. She also won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 metres freestyle. She currently also holds the world record in the 200 metres backstroke.
Among the other outstanding Olympic performers were Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the face of the Jamaican women’s sprint team. She won gold in the 100 metres and silver medals in the 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay to confirm her position as the fastest woman in the world.
Japan’s Saori Yoshida won her third successive Olympic gold medal in London in the women's 55kg freestyle wrestling. Ten-times world champion, Yoshida beat Canadian Tonya Lynn Verbeek in a repeat of the 2004 Athens final. To reflect her dominance in her sport and the respect with which she is held in Japan, she was chosen to be the Olympic flagbearer for Japan at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in London.
New Zealand’s Valerie Adams showed she is the dominant shot putter in the world, taking her second straight Olympic gold, but only after Belarus’ Nadzeya Ostapchuk failed a drugs test. A formidable competitor, she is also world indoor champion and three-time world champion.
Sally Pearson produced a virtuoso performance to win Australia a gold medal on the track in the 100 metres hurdles, her time of 12.35 secs breaking the Olympic record. It had been a disappointing Olympics for Australia as they failed to meet their expectations in swimming, cycling, rowing and sailing and Pearson was under enormous pressure to deliver.
Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canada women’s football team, was the top scorer with six goals in the Olympic Football tournament, an Olympic record. Her hat-trick gave her side the lead three times against defending champions USA in a thrilling semi-final, though Canada eventually lost 4-3 in extra time. Aged 29, she has been a nominee as FIFA Women’s Player of the Year five times.
Regarded as the outstanding gold medal winner in the first ever Olympic Games women’s boxing competition, Ireland’s Katie Taylor added the Olympic lightweight title to her European and world titles. It was Ireland’s only gold medal. A national hero in Ireland, she carried the flag for the Irish team at the Opening Ceremony. 
Away from the Olympic Games, one of the outstanding performers was American skier Lindsey Vonn, who won her fourth overall women's World Cup skiing title in five years. In a dominant year, Vonn also won Downhill, Super G and Combined titles. It was the fifth straight year she has won the Downhill, the fourth year she has won Super G and the third year she has won Combined. At the end of the 2011/12 season, she had 53 World Cup wins and was closing in on Annemarie Moser-Proll with 62 and Vreni Schneider with 55.
Another American Stacy Lewis almost single-handedly defied the Far East takeover of the Ladies PGA Tour, winning three tournaments – the Mobile Bay Classic, Shoprite Classic and Navistar Classic – and reaching second in the moneylist just behind Korea’s Inbee Park, who won just one tournament.
The Laureus World Sports Awards recognise sporting achievement during 2012. The names of the six Nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, as voted by the Laureus Media Selection Panel, comprising leading sports editors, sports writers, broadcasters and online journalists from around the world, will be announced in Rio de Janeiro on December 13. The eventual winner will then be chosen from this shortlist by the 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the greatest athletes of today.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Nadia Comaneci, who achieved the perfect ten score in gymnastics in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, said: ‘It is always fascinating in an Olympic year to try to pick out which athletes have achieved the most. The London Olympics certainly produced some outstanding performances across the board - on the track, in the pool, in the sports hall and on the tennis court. You have to be amazed at the ability of Serena Williams to keep coming back after injuries to produce one of her best years, both inside and outside the Olympics, but there were some great gold medal winning displays in all sports. It is going to be difficult for the media to choose just six of these great athletes.”
Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Awards Ceremonies have been Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Rafael Nadal, Pele, Oscar Pistorius, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane. Guests attending the Awards Ceremony have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey,
Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/Aids, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness, education and health problems such as obesity. Since its inception Laureus has raised over €55 million to support projects around the world.
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The Patron of Laureus is Nelson Mandela.  At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, President Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.
Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good.  Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Dan Marino, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh and Katarina Witt.
The Laureus Academy members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. The Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €55 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people. The mission of the Laureus Foundation is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems like obesity. The Academy is supported in its work by the members of the Laureus Ambassadors programme, a select group of current and retired sportsmen and sportswomen who have achieved sporting greatness, plus non-sporting personalities who have made significant contributions to the sporting community during their careers. 
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year.  The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today.  The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 120 countries and territories.  
There is a two-part voting process to find the winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards.  Firstly, a Selection Panel of the world’s leading sports editors, writers and broadcasters from over 120 countries votes to create a shortlist of six Nominations in various categories, including Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World Team of the Year, Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year and Laureus World Comeback of the Year.  Then the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners from the shortlist. The Laureus Academy Members also vote for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disabilityand the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year, the Nominations for which are made by specialist panels. 
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports over 100 community sports projects around the world.  The 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards were held in London on February 6.
Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen.
Mercedes-Benz, the world’s oldest automaker, can look back on a unique tradition. It is the most valuable automotive premium brand which stands for quality, safety, comfort, design and sustainable mobility. Mercedes-Benz enjoys an excellent reputation, particularly in the field of safety. Many pioneering technical innovations that are standard automotive features today were first seen in a Mercedes-Benz car. The Mercedes-Benz engineers will in the future consistently reinvent the automobile – with the same enthusiasm and innovation as Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz in 1886. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz has been actively supporting professional and amateur sport for decades and has become established as a dependable partner in the fields of motor sport, football, golf, horse riding and tennis.  Mercedes-Benz is a Global Partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since the beginning of the Foundation's operations in 2000, Mercedes-Benz has shared and supported the goals and values of this worldwide charity programme where sports play the core role in the fight against social issues - Laureus has become a vital element of the corporate social responsibility programme of Mercedes-Benz.
IWC Schaffhausen
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing watches of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of Haute Horlogerie at its finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design.

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