Stephanie Gilmore's sixth World Surfing Championship puts her on course for Nomination for a second

January 22, 2015 
A truly great women’s surfer and a young man destined for a big future are among the favourites for Nomination for the 2015 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award.
Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore won her sixth World Surfing Championship in 2014, putting her just one behind the legendary Layne Beachley. At just 26, Stephanie must now have a good chance to overtake Layne’s record of seven titles.
Meanwhile in 2014 Gabriel Medina was making history in men’s surfing, winning Brazil's first ever world title. Medina was the dominant surfer throughout the year, winning the first event on the Gold Coast and also in Fiji and Tahiti. He is the first 20-year-old to win the world title since Kelly Slater won the first of his 11 successes in 1992.
The names of the Nominees for the Laureus World Sports Award will be announced on February 11 and Gilmore and Medina will be competing with many of the greats from a variety of Action Sports for a place on the shortlist.
Among those also hoping to be nominated will be four stars from the Winter Olympics. American-born Vic Wild became Russia’s most unlikely new hero, becoming the first athlete to win two snowboard gold medals in the same Olympic Games as he took the Parallel Slalom and Giant Slalom. Wild chose to compete for Russia after marrying snowboarder Alena Zavarzina.
Americans Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg won the inaugural women’s and men’s Olympic Slopestlye gold medals in Sochi. Anderson had previously won four X-Games gold medals in Slopestyle in 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013, while Kotsenburg, 20, performed a trick never tried before which he called the ‘Holy Crail’, involving three-and-a-half rotations while flipping twice, reaching behind his back and pulling on his snowboard, while his other hand grabbed the nose of the board.
Russian-born Iouri Podladtchikov, who competes for Switzerland, won the Halfpipe Olympic gold medal, beating the great Shaun White, who was trying for his third consecutive gold.
The X-Games also produced possible Nominees. American Nyjah Huston, at 19, won the final event in Austin with a flourish, taking the men’s skateboard Street gold medal with 95.00 points, the highest score ever in an X Games Street final. It was his sixth career gold, making him the most successful X-Games Street skater ever.
After winning the Laureus World Action Sports Award in 2013, the unstoppable Jamie Bestwick, at 43, won a record ninth consecutive BMX Vert X-Games gold medal, while Poland’s Taddy B?a?usiak showed his dominance in Enduro X, winning his fourth gold since it became an X-Games event in 2011.
Garrett Reynolds was the only winner in the history of BMX Street at the X Games until last year when he lost out unexpectedly to Chad Kerley. However he came roaring back in Austin in June with an array of brilliant tricks to return to winning ways and secure his sixth gold medal in seven years.
Britain’s Steph Bridge won the World Kite Racing Championship in Turkey, at the age of 42, for her fifth world title. As a result she was a nominee for the ISAF Sailor of the Year award.
American computer scientist Alan Eustace jumped from 135,889 feet (41.4km) in October to break Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 world record for the highest free fall jump. Following a balloon-powered ascent, Eustace’s jump to Earth lasted 15 minutes with speeds exceeding 821.45 mph (1,322 kmh).

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