Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SIX DAYS TO GO…..GREATEST STARS OF SPORT WAIT FOR LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS VERDICT



ABU DHABI, February 2, 2011 - A glittering collection of the world’s greatest sports stars have just days to wait to discover if they have been awarded one of the prestigious 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2010, are the premier honours 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 at a televised Awards Ceremony staged in Abu Dhabi on Monday, February 7.

The list of individual Nominees in seven categories reads like a who’s who of sport, including Kobe Bryant, Kim Clijsters, Stephanie Gilmore, Justine Henin, Martin Kaymer, Lionel Messi, Rafael Nadal, Valentino Rossi, Kelly Slater, Esther Vergeer, Sebastian Vettel, Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Serena Williams.

The Laureus World Team of the Year category looks to be one of the most competitive ever. The Spain World Cup Team’s first ever win in South Africa will make them strong contenders, but also nominated are the European Ryder Cup Team, Champions League winners Inter Milan, NBA winners Los Angeles Lakers, the Red Bull Formula One Team and the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team.

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “This has been a great year for sport and the Academy have found it extremely difficult to decide who to vote for as winners. We have had several massive events in 2010 – notably the FIFA World Cup and the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and that has been reflected in the Nominations, but there has also been some great golf, tennis and motor sport. There has been a host of amazing individual and team performances and I congratulate all the Nominees. It promises to be the most exciting Awards we have ever had next week in Abu Dhabi.”

The full list of Nominees for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Kobe Bryant (US, basketball), Andres Iniesta (Spain, football), Lionel Messi (Argentina, football), Rafael Nadal (Spain, tennis), Manny Pacquiao (Philippines, boxing), Sebastian Vettel (Germany, motor racing)

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Kim Clijsters (Belgium, tennis), Jessica Ennis (UK, athletics), Blanka Vlasic (Croatia, athletics), Lindsey Vonn (US, skiing), Serena Williams (US, tennis), Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark, tennis)

Laureus World Team of the Year

All Blacks (New Zealand, rugby), European Ryder Cup Team (golf), Inter Milan (Italy, football), Los Angeles Lakers (US, basketball), Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria), Spain World Cup Team (football)

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Martin Kaymer (Germany, golf), Christophe Lemaitre (France, athletics), Matteo Manassero (Italy, golf), Thomas Muller (Germany, football), Louis Oosthuizen (S.Africa, golf), Teddy Tamgho (France, athletics)

Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Paula Creamer (US, golf), Tyson Gay (US, athletics), Justine Henin (Belgium, tennis), Carolina Kluft (Sweden, athletics), Merlene Ottey (Slovenia, athletics), Valentino Rossi (Italy, motor cycling)

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Verena Bentele (Germany, skiing/biathlon), Matt Cowdrey (Australia, swimming), Daniel Dias (Brazil, swimming), Jakub Krako (Slovakia, skiing), Esther Vergeer (Netherlands, wheelchair tennis), Lauren Woolstencroft (Canada, skiing)

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year

Jamie Bestwick (UK, BMX), Victor Fernandez (Spain, windsurfing), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia, surfing), Levi Sherwood (N.Zealand, freestyle moto-cross), Kelly Slater (US, surfing), Shaun White (US, snowboarding)

For biographies of Nominees go to www.laureus.com/Awards/2011/Nominees (update)
The Laureus World Sports Awards is returning to Abu Dhabi thanks to the support of Aabar Investments PJS, who will once again be Host Partner for the event.  His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar, said: "The Laureus World Sports Awards is a unique event. It was magnificent, a great success for Abu Dhabi when it was held here last March. The whole event was really superb. We will certainly try to do something special for this year’s Awards.”
Double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey will once again host the Awards Ceremony which is attended by leading sportsmen and women from around the world. In the audience at a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace last year were Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, British film stars Hugh Grant and Clive Owen and American actors Kyle MacLachlan and Michelle Rodriguez.  Among the names of the winners of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards announced in Abu Dhabi were Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Jenson Button, Kim Clijsters, Natalie du Toit and Stephanie Gilmore.
Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, offers a fascinating combination of the old and the new; a blend of Arabic hospitality and mystique where a mixture of culture and tradition come together against a backdrop of the most modern world-class infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is developing a reputation as a great sporting venue as host city for the FIFA Club World Cup, the Etihad Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, all highlights of the sporting calendar in the city.
Aabar Investments PJS is an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It invests in various sectors including aerospace, real estate, automotive and financial services. Its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Company, which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports 83 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €40 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one million young people.