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SEBASTIAN VETTEL IS SPORTSMAN OF YEAR; MISSY FRANKLIN NAMED YOUNGEST EVER SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR; SPAIN’S RAFAEL NADAL AND MARC MÁRQUEZ BOTH HONOURED; BAYERN MUNICH WIN LAUREUS TEAM OF THE YEAR AW

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Laureus World Sports Awards 2014
 
 
 
·         France ski sensation Marie Bochet receives Laureus Disability Award
·         BMX star Jamie Bestwick presented with Laureus Action Sports Award
·         Afghanistan cricket team wins Laureus Spirit of Sport Award
·         Laureus Academy salutes Magic Bus with Sport for Good Award
·         Global TV audience watches Laureus Awards Ceremony in Kuala Lumpur
 
KUALA LUMPUR, March 26, 2014 – Three of the most exciting young sports stars of their generation, who have proved world-beaters despite their age, have been honoured at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
 
Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, the youngest four-time Formula One world champion in history at 26, was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, US swimmer Missy Franklin, at 18, became the youngest ever winner of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, while Spain’s Marc Márquez received the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award, after winning the World MotoGP Championship at just 20 years and 266 days.
 
There was double delight for both Germany and Spain when the Awards were announced. Bayern Munich joined Vettel as winners, taking the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, while tennis maestro Rafael Nadal received the Laureus Comeback Award to celebrate, with Márquez, a wonderful night for Spanish sport.
 
The Laureus World Sports Awards are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.   The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest living sportsmen and sportswomen. Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people.
 
Sebastian Vettel’s success was particularly satisfying for the young German racer, who had been nominated five times for a Laureus Award, before finally winning. His fourth straight World Championship in 2013 saw him join motor racing legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost, who all won at least four times, but he did it more quickly than them – at just 26 years and 116 days.
 
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Missy Franklin was the sensation of the World Championships in Barcelona, becoming the first woman swimmer in history to win six gold medals at a single World Championships – three individual and three relay - at the age of just 18. She continues to refuse prize money and endorsements so that she can maintain her amateur status in college.
 
Bayern Munich were presented with the Laureus World Team of the Year Award after becoming the first football club to complete the treble of UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup. Six of their players were nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year Award: Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
 
Spain’s Marc Márquez was presented with the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award after becoming the youngest ever MotoGP world champion, at 20 years 266 days. He also made history by becoming the youngest winner of a Grand Prix, in Austin in April, at 20 years 63 days.
 
It was Márquez’ first Laureus Award, but his fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal secured his third Laureus Statuette, when he won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, returning after a seven-month absence because of injury to win the French Open and US Open Grand Slam titles and regain his No 1 world ranking.
 
France’s Marie Bochet, aged 19, won the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award after becoming the first athlete to complete a Grand Slam of all five events at one Alpine Skiing World Championships.
 
Britain’s BMX star Jamie Bestwick, now based in the United States, won the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award after becoming the only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals, two more than legends such as Tony Hawk and Shaun White.
 
The Laureus World Sports Academy presented two additional discretionary Awards. The Laureus Spirit of Sport Award was won by the Afghanistan Cricket Team, who qualified for the Cricket World Cup for the first time in their history, and the Laureus Sport for Good Award was presented to Magic Bus, the sports-based community project in India.
 
The Awards Ceremony was held at the Istana Budaya, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was hosted by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Oscar and Grammy winner Jamie Foxx performed to the star-studded audience. German actor Daniel Brühl, who played Niki Lauda in the film Rush, was present along with Chinese supermodel and actress Du Juan.
 
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy present were: Giacomo Agostini, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Deng Yaping, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tony Hawk, Michael Johnson, Franz Klammer, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Ilie Nastase, Alexey Nemov, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson and Steve Waugh.
 
Other sports guests included: 
Vitor Baia, Robert Baker, Kenny Belaey, Jamie Bestwick, Marie Bochet, Ronald de Boer, Annabelle Bond, Daniel Brühl, Bob Burnquist, Eric Cantona, Fabio Capello, Dan Carter, Lee Chong Wei, David Coulthard, Johan Cruyff, Nicol David, Deng Yaping, Du Juan, Paulo Ferreira, Nacho Figueras, Emerson Fittipaldi, Missy Franklin, Maya Gabeira, Stephanie Gilmore, Ruud Gullit, Lewis Hamilton, Raphael Holzdeppe, Nico Hülkenberg , Philip Köster, Michael Laudrup, Tegla Loroupe, Steve McManaman, Marc Márquez, Felipe Massa, Gaizka Mendieta, Luis Milla, Hidetoshi Nakata, Antonis Nikopolidis, Sophie Pascoe, Nico Rosberg, Sarah Louise Rung, Axel Schulz, Jimmy Spithill, Angelika Timanina, Sebastian Vettel.
 
 
Among other guests present were Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia; YB Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, Malaysia Minister for Youth and Sports; YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri, Malaysia Minister of Tourism and Culture.
 
The Awards were announced in seven categories. The winners are:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Sebastian Vettel
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Missy Franklin
Laureus World Team of the Year: Bayern Munich
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Marc Márquez
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Rafael Nadal
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Marie Bochet
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Jamie Bestwick
 
There were two additional Awards: the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award was presented to the Afghanistan Cricket Team and the Laureus Sport for Good Award was presented to Magic Bus, the sports-based community project in India. 
For full biographies of Winners and Nominees go to www.laureus.com
Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) is the Corporate Social Responsibility partner of the Laureus World Sports Awards. Laureus and YR1M have announced an innovative tie-up to benefit young people in Malaysia through the use of sport. The global Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which currently supports more than 140 sports-based community programmes in 34 countries, will be developing projects in Malaysia, in collaboration with YR1M, as an ongoing legacy for the country, following the Laureus World Sports Awards.
 
YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri, Minister of Tourism & Culture of  Malaysia, said: “Kuala Lumpur is honoured to have hosted the prestigious 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards and the city has enjoyed staging this internationally-renowned event and welcoming a plethora of sporting legends to Malaysia. This is a sports-loving country and coupled with international events such as the Monsoon Cup and Formula One Grand Prix, we are delighted that Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been able to host this sporting event with such global significance. I am positive this has been an event to remember for all those involved.”
 
For further information please contact:
 
Virginie Bernon
International Senior Media & PR Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 207 514 2841    
Photo Archive: www.laureusarchive.com
Website: www.laureus.com
Follow us on Twitter @LaureusSport
 
 
 
TV news access details
 
Reuters Media Express Login Information
 
PAL Users
username: VNR_PAL
password: Videonews1
 
NTSC Users
username: VNR_NTSC
password: Videonews1
 
 
Notes to Editors
Laureus-produced video content from the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards, will be made available to media, via the below accesses:
 
VNR
Link: laureus-ftp1.iweb-ftp.co.uk
Username: laureus-lwsavnr
Password: laureus
 
Web Edits
Link: laureus-ftp1.iweb-ftp.co.uk
Username: laureus-lwsaweb
Password: laureus
 
 
 
NOTES TO EDITORS
 
The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela.  At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he 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 once there was 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 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.  
 
 
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 €60 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 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.
 
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.  
 
Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen.
 
Mercedes-Benz
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 engineering and precision with exclusive design. As a Global Partner since 2005 and as part of its corporate social responsibility, IWC is one of the driving forces behind the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since 2006, the Swiss watch manufacturer has launched several limited editions in honour and support of the Foundation. These watches are destined to be collector's items as each edition features an exclusive engraving on the back based on a drawing by one child involved in a Laureus project.
 
Malaysia
Malaysia is a country which offers a unique look into the rest of Asia as a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Its multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly. Being ranked as the 10th most popular travel destination in the world by UNWTO and the 4th best shopping destination in the world by CNN, and 2014 being the Visit Malaysia Year, Malaysia definitely is the most suitable host for Laureus World Sports Awards 2014.
 
Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia
Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (the “Foundation”) is a charitable foundation to benefit Malaysians from all walks of life in line with the principles of 1Malaysia.
The Foundation which was incorporated in January 2013 is geared towards engaging and helping Malaysians, particularly the less fortunate and those in need, and to equip them with building blocks to achieve a better quality of life. Towards this end, the Foundation focuses on three areas – Improving the quality of life of the less fortunate, Education and Sports.