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Laureus World Sports Awards 2023 Nominees

Laureus World Sports Awards 2023 Nominees poster

The England Women’s Football Team’s celebrations continue after being nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, following a ballot by the world’s sports media.

Under head coach Sarina Wiegman, and captained by Leah Williamson, the Lionesses won the European Championship, their first major international success.

Also nominated is Manchester United midfield star Christian Eriksen, who returned to football last year after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch in June 2021 when he was playing for Denmark. He is on the shortlist for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.

They are members of an elite group of sportsmen and sportswomen who are announced today as Nominees for the 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards, including several with a claim to be among the greatest in the history of their sports.

The names of the Winners will be revealed in Spring following a vote by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the world’s ultimate sports jury, comprising 71 of the greatest sporting legends of all time.

One of the highlights of this year’s Nominations is the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award which has one of the most competitive line-ups in its history with FIFA World Cup heroes Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal, back-to-back Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, pole vault star Mondo Duplantis and NBA Finals MVP Steph Curry all nominated.

England’s Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 in extra time in the final of Euro 2022, marking the country’s first major football trophy since the men’s side won the World Cup in 1966.

There was a record crowd for a European Championship final of 87,192 at Wembley, beating the previous record of 79,115 in Madrid for the men’s final in 1964.

England striker Beth Mead with six goals and five assists in six matches won the Golden Boot and was also named Player of the Tournament.

Sarina Weigman, manager of the England Women’s Football team said: “2022 was a memorable year for women’s football and I know I speak on behalf of the players and support team to say it is a real honour to be shortlisted for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award.

To be recognised against five other teams across the world and to fly the flag for women’s sport is something that we’re hugely proud of.

The reaction to last summer’s victory continues to fill us with joy and as we prepare for another big year, we are grateful to those who nominated us. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we’re successful on the evening.”

Also nominated are men’s World Cup winners Argentina, Champions League winners Real Madrid, NBA champions Golden State Warriors, the Oracle Red Bull Racing and the France Men’s Rugby Team, who secured the 2022 Six Nations title after a wait of 12 years.

A much respected and admired Danish footballer who has played 120 times for his national team, Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during a Euro 2020 match against Finland in Copenhagen in June 2021, suffering a cardiac arrest.

He was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and was later fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. He returned to football in January 2022, signing for English Premier League club Brentford on a six-month contract. In July 2022 he joined Manchester United on a three-year contract. In November he played for Denmark in the World Cup in Qatar.

Also shortlisted with Eriksen for Laureus World Comeback of the Year are Tiger Woods, who returned to play in the Masters 14 months after a serious car crash, world MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia, Norwegian track star Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson, who returned to basketball after being out for nearly 31 months to help his team win the NBA Championship, and Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten who completed the Tour de France / Giro d’Italia double.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award, along with Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz who won the US Open and became the youngest ever men’s world tennis No.1 at 19 years, 4 months and 6 days.

Also nominated are 100 metres hurdles world champion Tobi Amusan, figure skater Nathan Chen, Masters winner Scottie Scheffler and the Morocco Football Team, the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

The race for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award includes two athletes who lit up the World Championships in Eugene: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who became a five-time champion over 100 metres, and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who won gold in the 400m hurdles.

Also nominated are tennis world No.1 Iga Świątek, who won the French Open and US Open, US swimmer Katie Ledecky, FC Barcelona’s women’s captain Alexia Putellas and Mikaela Shiffrin, who won her fourth overall skiing World Cup.

The Nominees for the Laureus World Action Sports Award are headed by Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu, who was one of the stars of the Winter Olympics, US snowboarder Chloe Kim, Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal, plus three surfers: eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, men’s world champion Filipe Toledo and big wave specialist Justine Dupont.

Six Nominees are selected in each Laureus category by a vote of the Laureus Media Nominations Panel which consists of 1,400 of the leading sports journalists, editors and broadcasters from around the world, except for the shortlists for the Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability Award and the Laureus Sport for Good Award, which are chosen by specialist panels. 

Among the Nominees for the Disability Award are Diede de Groot, who completed back-to-back calendar Grand Slams in wheelchair tennis, Oksana Masters who became the first US athlete to win seven medals in one Paralympic Games, Swiss wheelchair racer Catherine Debrunner, US ice hockey star Declan Farmer, New Zealand’s Cameron Leslie, who competes in Para swimming and wheelchair rugby, and Norwegian skier Jesper Saltvik Pedersen, who won four gold medals in the Winter Paralympics.

The Laureus Sport for Good Award recognises an individual or organisation who, in the opinion of the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, has made a significant contribution to transforming the lives of children and young people through sport.

This year, the inspirational shortlist includes Boxgirls (Kenya), High Five (Germany), Made For More (South Africa), Slum Soccer (India), TeamUp (Global).

The full list of Nominees in all categories is:

LAUREUS WORLD SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Steph Curry (USA) Basketball – led Golden State Warriors to fourth NBA championship in eight years
Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) Athletics – three world records, two world titles in a dominant 2022
Kylian Mbappé (France) Football – Golden Boot winner at World Cup, led Ligue 1 in goals and assists
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football – captained Argentina to the World Cup; Golden Ball for best player
Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis – won two Grand Slams in 2022 to take career wins to a record 22
Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Motor Racing – defended Formula One World Championship in 2022

LAUREUS WORLD SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics – won record fifth 100m title at World Championships
Katie Ledecky (USA) Swimming – four golds at World Aquatics Championships set a new record
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (USA) Athletics – smashed world 400m hurdles record
Alexia Putellas (Spain) Football – a second Ballon d’Or, captained Barcelona to perfect league win
Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) Alpine Skiing – regained overall title at the World Cup
Iga Świątek (Poland) Tennis – won in France and USA to become World No.1

LAUREUS WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD

Argentina Men’s Football Team – World Cup winners after a thrilling final against France
England Women’s Football Team – won the European Championships in front of packed crowds at home
France Men’s Rugby Team – 
ended 12-year wait for Six Nations title with a Grand Slam  
Golden State Warriors (USA) Basketball – NBA champions for the fourth time in eight years
Oracle Red Bull Racing (Austria) – vanquished Mercedes after eight years to claim constructors’ title
Real Madrid (Spain) Football – La Liga and Champions League double for the Spanish giants

LAUREUS WORLD BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR AWARD

Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) Tennis – won debut Grand Slam title in New York to take World No.1 spot
Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) Athletics – world champion and a new world record over 100m hurdles
Nathan Chen (USA) Figure Skating – Olympic gold with a world record in the short programme
Morocco Men’s Football Team – first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup
Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) Tennis – won Wimbledon from No.17 seed, her first Grand Slam title
Scottie Scheffler (USA) Golf – winner at Augusta and joint second at the US Open

LAUREUS WORLD COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD

Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) Motor Cycling – overturned 91-point deficit to win MotoGP crown
Christian Eriksen (Denmark) Football – returned to Premier League after cardiac arrest during Euro 2020
Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway) Athletics – fought back from shock defeat in 1500m to win 5000m world title
Klay Thompson (USA) Basketball – won NBA championship with Golden State Warriors after 30 months out
Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) Cycling – overcame illness to win Tour de France Femme
Tiger Woods (USA) Golf – returned to make cut at Masters following career-threatening car crash

LAUREUS SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR WITH A DISABILITY AWARD

Diede de Groot (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis – completed second calendar-year Grand Slam
Catherine Debrunner (Switzerland) Para Athletics – four world records in three-day meet on home track
Declan Farmer (USA) Para Ice Hockey – third Paralympic gold with USA and the tournament’s top goalscorer
Cameron Leslie (New Zealand) Para Swimming and Wheelchair Rugby – gold in the pool after two years out
Oksana Masters (USA) Para Cross-Country Skiing – double biathlon gold at Winter Paralympics
Jesper Saltvik Pedersen (Norway) Para Alpine Skiing – four golds on the slopes in China

LAUREUS WORLD ACTION SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD

Justine Dupont (France) Big Wave Surfing – high-risk pursuit of giant waves continued in 2022
Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing – eighth world title for the Australian hall-of-famer
Eileen Gu (China) Freestyle Skiing – double gold – in big air and halfpipe – for the teenage sensation
Chloe Kim (USA) Snowboarding – defended her Olympic title at halfpipe
Rayssa Leal (Brazil) Skateboarding – gold in Street event at both Summer X Games and World Championships
Filipe Toledo (Brazil) Surfing – debut world title for the Brazilian high-flyer

LAUREUS SPORT FOR GOOD AWARD SHORTLIST

Programmes shortlisted by a specialist selection panel; Laureus Academy select the winner
Boxgirls (Kenya) Boxing – empowering young women and challenging stereotypes
High Five (Germany) Action Sports – helping migrant and orphaned children integrate into new communities
Made For More (South Africa) Multi-sport – making sport inclusive for people with disabilities
Slum Soccer (India) Football – supporting homeless young people through sport and education
TeamUp (Global) Movement – refugee children relieve stress through physical activity, supported by War Child, UNICEF and Save the Children

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