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‘We want to inspire young women and girls’

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The 66th, 67th and 68th members of the Laureus World Sports Awards have been confirmed ahead of the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards and it’s an all-female affair. Hockey star Luciana Aymar, swimming legend Missy Franklin and golfing great Lorena Ochoa are the latest members of the Laureus Academy, joining other global greats.

 

Record-setting hockey star Luciana Aymar is widely regarded as the greatest hockey player of all time, and is the only player to receive the FIH Player of the Year Award eight times. Nicknamed the ‘Maradona of hockey’, Luciana was famous for her skill and technique in gliding past opponents. During her glittering career, Luciana won two World Cups, six Champions Trophies and three Pan-American Games gold medals. She also won two silver and two bronze medals at four Olympic Games - the joint most by an Argentinean athlete at the Games.

 

Luciana is looking forward to taking on her new Laureus role, “Sport has been a huge part of my entire life and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact it can have on young people, so I’m delighted to commit my efforts in retirement to supporting Laureus in their mission in my new role as a Laureus Academy Member,” she said. “I’ve heard about the transformational work Laureus is doing both in Argentina and around the world, and I’m can’t wait to get involved.”

 

Missy Franklin is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the sport of swimming. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Franklin earned a gold medal as a member of the 4x200m free relay. The gold added to her medal haul from the 2012 Olympics in London, where she won four gold medals and one bronze medal at the age of just 17.

 

She said, “I’m honoured to be joining this phenomenal group of sporting legends who all believe in the positive impact sport can have. I’ve been a Laureus Ambassador since 2015, and in that time I have been fortunate enough to experience the transformational work of Laureus-supported programmes around the world. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Academy Members to use sport as a tool to improve the lives of young people.”

 

Lorena Ochoa played on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour from 2003 to 2010 and was the top-ranked female golfer in the world for 158 consecutive and total weeks, both LPGA Tour records, from April 2007 to her retirement in May 2010, at the age of 28. As the first Mexican golfer to be ranked No.1 in the world, Lorena is widely considered the best Mexican golfer and the best Latin American female golfer of all time. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

Lorena is equally keen to get going on Laureus programmes, “I’m so excited to join the Laureus World Sports Academy here in Monaco alongside Missy and Luciana,” she said. “Having been involved in sport since the age of five, I am aware of the incredible impact it can have on young people. We want to use our platform with Laureus to inspire the next generation of young women and girls around the world.”