March 26, 2014
Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, the youngest four-time Formula One world champion in history, has been named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. Vettel’s triumph was particularly satisfying for the young racer, who has been nominated five times for a Laureus Award, before finally winning.
Vettel’s 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.
After being presented with his Award in Kuala Lumpur by Jamie Foxx and Emerson Fittipaldi, he said: “This is a big honour. Similar to other sportsmen and sportswomen here at the Laureus Awards, when I first started competing I fell in love with the fact that if you do well then at the end of the race you receive a trophy. It is still one of the main things that drives me today, to hold a trophy in my hand, and this trophy is very, very special - one of the most special I have.
“I would like to say a big thank you to the Laureus Academy. If I learned anything from being here at the Laureus Awards, it is surely the fact that sport can be a very big inspiration. I think the idea of trying to share that inspiration with young kids, to give them something to look up to and give them a chance in life, is one of the biggest hopes that we spread. It is up to us to try and do that even more so in the future.”
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.