Lindsey Vonn nominated for Laureus Award

Posted By: Steve Bellamy on February 11, 2010 12:03 am

Lindsey Vonn along with other great athletes Brett Favre, Tom Watson, Lance Armstrong and Serena Williams have been nominated for prestigious Laureus Awards.  Lindsey is against Serena Williams and Sanya Richards for the Sportswoman of the Year Award while Lance Armstrong, Brett Favre and Tom Watson will bang it out for the Comeback of the Year Award.  The Yankees and the Lakers are both up for the Team of the Year Award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognize sporting achievement during the period January 1 – December 31, 2009, are recognized as the premier honors on the international sporting calendar.   The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled during a televised Awards Ceremony staged in Abu Dhabi on March 10, 2010.

Sanya Richards has been the No 1 runner at 400 meters for five years, but she was not able to win an individual gold medal in Olympic or world competition until 2009 in the World Championships in Berlin, where she crossed the line in 49.00secs to win the individual 400 meters title.

Lindsey Vonn proved herself to be the dominant women’s skier of 2009 and one of the greatest of all time after a second brilliant season in a row in which she won her eighth World Cup title and captured two gold medals in the World Championships in Val d’Isere in Downhill and Super-G. She also won World Cup titles in Downhill and Super-G disciplines. Her record-breaking year made her the most successful American women skier in World Cup history.

Serena Williams won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2009 and re-established herself at the peak of tennis by regaining the world No 1 ranking for the fifth time in her career.  Along with the No 1 ranking, she broke the record set by Justine Henin for the most prize money earned by a female tennis player in one season with a total of  $6,545,586 during the year.  She is two-time winner of a Laureus Award.

Also competing with Richards, Vonn and Williams for the Laureus Sportswoman Award are swimmers Federica Pellegrini from Italy and Britta Steffen from Germany, and Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser.

Record seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong made his comeback to the race in 2009, at the age of 37, after a four-year absence, finishing third behind the winner, his Astana teammate Alberto Contador.  Armstrong is also a double Laureus Award winner.

Quarterback Brett Favre came out of retirement for the second time in 2009 when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings in August. One month later he created a NFL record with his 271st consecutive start as quarterback overtaking the mark of Jim Marshall.

Eight-time major golf championship winner Tom Watson came within a putt of winning the British Open at Turnberry in July at the age of 59. He needed a par on the final hole to take his sixth British Open, but could only manage a bogey five, and lost the resulting playoff to Stewart Cink. Watson became the oldest man to have the lead after any round of a major championship. 

Also nominated with Armstrong, Favre and Watson for the Laureus Comeback Award are Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters and track & field athletes Jessica Ennis of Britain and Blanka Vlasic from Croatiia, who won gold medals in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

In the Laureus World Team of the Year category, the Los Angeles Lakers have been nominated after winning their 15th NBA title in 2009 in their record 30th play-off appearance.  Only the Boston Celtics have a better record with 17 titles. After losing in the 2007/08 play-offs, the Lakers bounced back to win the championship, beating the Orlando Magic 4-1 in the final.

Thousands of fans came onto the streets of New York to celebrate the New York Yankees 27th – and record – World Series victory in November after beating the reigning champion  Philadelphia Phillies. It was the Yankees’ first World Series title since 2000.  The hero of the victory was Hideki Matsui, who became the first Japanese player to be named Most Valuable Player in the World Series.

Also nominated are European soccer Champions League winners FC Barcelona, the Germany Women’s Football Team, Brawn Formula One and the South Africa Rugby Team, who were winners in 2008.

In the Laureus Action Sports category skateboarder Chris Cole enjoyed a dominant 2009. He won the prestigious Skater of the Year award from Thrasher magazine and took the overall Dew Cup, thanks to several huge performances. Greg Long won the big wave event in Waimea Bay, Hawaii, which is only held when the surf is over 40 feet.  Surfers stand by all season to see if they get the call from organizers to compete. Long committed himself to an unbelievable never-say-die attack to win the event in front of a crowd of 50,000.  Other Nominees are Australian world surfing champions Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore, French windsurfer Antoine Albeau and British cyclist Danny MacAskill.

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “This has been a great year for sport and especially for American sport. We have a great range of Nominees from the US, from Tom Watson at 59 down to Chris Cole and Greg Long in their 20s, plus great champions like Lance Armstrong and Lindsey Vonn and two world-famous teams in the Lakers and the Yankees.  The Academy are going to find it extremely difficult to decide who to vote for as winners. We have had some thrilling world championships this year and a host of terrific individual performances.  I congratulate all the nominees and now we look forward to what should be a great Awards Ceremony.”

The full list of nominees for the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) Athletics
– first 5,000 & 10,000m double in World Championships
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics – won 100m, 200m & 4x100m relay World Championship gold medals
Alberto Contador (Spain) Cycling – won his second Tour de France in three years
Roger Federer (Switzerland) Tennis – broke Pete Sampras record for most Grand Slam singles titles won
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football – FIFA World Player of the Year, a star in Barcelona’s brilliant year
Valentinio Rossi (Italy) Motor Cycling – won his seventh senior MotoGP world title
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Shelly-Ann Fraser (Jamaica) Athletics –
added World Championship 100 metres gold to Olympic gold
Federica Pellegrini (Italy) Swimming – broke the four minute barrier in 400m freestyle
Sanya Richards (US) Athletics – won first individual 400m gold medal in a global championship
Britta Steffen (Germany) Swimming – won World Championship 50m & 100m gold in world record times
Lindsey Vonn (US) Skiing – won World Cup for second year and two gold medals at World Championships
Serena Williams (US) Tennis – won Australian Open and Wimbledon and regained world No 1 ranking

Laureus World Team of the Year
FC Barcelona (Spain) Football –
won Champions League, Spanish League and Spanish Cup in 2008/09
Brawn Formula One Team (UK) – won Drivers and Constructors World Championships in debut year
Germany Women’s Football Team – won their fifth straight European Championship
Los Angeles Lakers (US) Basketball –
won 15th NBA title in their record 30th play-off appearance
New York Yankees (US) Baseball – won their 27th – and record – World Series
South Africa Rugby Team – international rugby team of the year, won Lions and Tri-Nations series

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year

Jenson Button (UK) Motor Racing – won Formula One World Championship after 169 Grand Prix
Mark Cavendish (UK) Cycling – won six stages of the Tour de France, a record for a British cyclist
Tom Daley (UK) Diving – won 10m platform gold medal in World Championship, at age 15
Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) Tennis beat Roger Federer in final to win US Open, at age 21
Ji Yai Shin (South Korea) Golf
– rookie of the year on the US LPGA Tour, winning three events
VFL Wolfsburg (Germany) Football – small club from Lower Saxony, won their first Bundesliga title

Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Lance Armstrong (US) Cycling – returned to Tour de France at 37 after four year gap, finished third
Kim Clijsters (Belgium) Tennis – won US Open in her third tournament back after two year absence
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics – won World Championship heptathlon after missing Olympics with injury
Brett Favre (US) American Football – came out of retirement and created record for consecutive starts
Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) Athletics – won World Championship high jump after disappointment at Olympics
Tom Watson (US) Golf – came within a putt of winning the British Open at age 59

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Justin Eveson (Australia) Wheelchair Basketball –
winner of every tournament in which he took part
Kurt Fearnley (Australia) Wheelchair Racing – won all five marathons in which he competed in 2009
Gizen Girismen (Turkey) Para-Archery – No 1 archer in the world in her category since 2007
Shingo Kunieda (Japan) Wheelchair Tennis – unbeaten in 77 matches dating back to 2007
Michael Teuber (Germany) Cycling – won three gold and one silver medal in World Championships
Natalie du Toit (S.Africa) Swimming – continued to dominate able-bodied and disabled events in 2009

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Antoine Albeau (France) Windsurfing
– won the 2009 PWA Slalom World Championship
Chris Cole (US) Skateboarding – won the Dew Cup and was named Skater of the Year
Mick Fanning (Australia) Surfing – won his second World Surfing Championship in three years
Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing – won her third straight World Surfing Championship, at just 21
Greg Long (US) Surfing
– won big wave event at Waimea Bay, Hawaii, in front of 50,000 spectators
Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Bikes – spectacular stunt video seen by 350,000 on You Tube in 40 hours

The 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards will be supported by host partner Aabar Investments PJSC. The announcement of the Nominees was made at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi by Laureus Academy Chairman Edwin Moses and his fellow Academy Members Kapil Dev and Mika Hakkinen