Laureus Awards: Rafael Nadal named Sportsman of the Year, Naomi takes home Sportswoman title
Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has won the Sportsman of the Year award at the 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards that were unveiled at a digital awards ceremony from Seville, Spain. The Sportswoman of the Year award went to Naomi Osaka.
The World Team of the Year award was picked by the Bayern Munich football team. The Athlete Advocate of the Year was won by Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton for his continuous efforts to raise social awareness and Liverpool footballer Mo Salah received the Sporting Inspiration Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Billie Jean King. Nadal had a total of 8 nominations and won 4. His first win in the Sportsman of the Year category came in 2011 while he won the Breakthrough of the Year award in 2006 and the Comeback of the Year award in 2014. Interestingly, he was also nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award in 2014.
For Sportswoman of the Year Naomi, this was her third nomination in the awards and she has now bagged two in three. While she won the Breakthrough of the Year award in 2019, she was a nominee for the Sportswoman of the Year award in 2020.
"It is an honour to once again be nominated for a Laureus Award by the world's media. For me this is special because Laureus sees the big picture -- not just sport on the court or the pitch, but how it can help young people around the world," the Japanese said on her nomination, as reported on the Laureus Awards website. For Bayern Munich, it was their second Team of the Year award after picking the first one in 2014.
They were also nominated in 2002, but failed to take the award home. The Comeback of the Year award went to Max Parrot. Parrot had announced in January 2019 that he had Hodgkin's lymphoma and underwent a six-month course of chemotherapy. And he went on to win the X-Games snowboarding big air event in Oslo in August.
In 2020, he went on to add the X-Games golds in big air in January in Aspen and slopestyle in Norway in March. The Breakthrough of the Year award went to American footballer Patrick Mahomes.