Golfing legend Tiger Woods, world No. 1 tennis star Novak Djokovic, record-breaking gymnast Simone Biles and the France Football Team were among the big winners at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Golfing star and ten-time Laureus Nominee Tiger Woods won his third Laureus Award, after winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year accolade at the 2000 and 2001 Laureus Awards. The American received the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award for winning the Tour Championship, his first win in 1,876 days, returning to the game after spinal fusion surgery.
In the company of HSH Prince Albert II in Monaco, Novak Djokovic fought off tough competition from the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Eliud Kipchoge and LeBron James to win the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. Novak, who won Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 after returning from elbow surgery, is now a four-time Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.
Speaking after receiving his Award, Novak said: “A Laureus Award is what every athlete wants to win, and this one is a huge honour for me. Being among so many sporting greats here tonight, and hearing about the inspirational work Laureus is doing around the world, gives this Award a special meaning for me.
“Last year was an incredible season for me, returning from injury to win Wimbledon and the US Open is something I’ll remember forever. I am delighted and I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for their support.”
The Laureus World Sports Academy, made up of 68 global sporting legends, volunteered their time to vote for the winners in each shortlisted category which recognises sporting achievement in the 2018 calendar year. The Awards were hosted by actor James Marsden and featured entertainment from award-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jorja Smith.
After her record-breaking performance at the gymnastics world championships, in which she won four gold, one silver and one bronze medal, Simone Biles was crowned Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year. Biles, who also won the Sportswoman Award in 2017, made history last year by becoming the first woman to win four all-around world championships. At just 21, she now has a record 14 career world titles.
FIFA World Cup winners France became the first national football team to win a second Laureus World Team of the Year Award, fighting off competition from the world-leading teams including Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Golden State Warriors and Real Madrid. French coach Didier Deschamps was in Monaco to accept the Award on behalf of the team.
Attended by sports stars, celebrities and business leaders from around the world, the Awards also shone a light on the transformational work of Laureus Sport for Good. In 2018, nearly 300,000 young people all over the world directly benefited from more than 160 Laureus Sport for Good-supported programmes in 40 countries, working to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage by using sport as the tool for change.
To see the full list of winners and stay up to date with the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards, visit awards.laureus.com.