Earlier this week, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation announced its nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Berlin, Germany, on February 17th, 2020. Mikaela Shiffrin has been nominated alongside other legendary American female athletes, soccer star Megan Rapinoe, gymnast Simone Biles, and sprinter Allyson Felix. Japan’s Naomi Osaka has also been recognized for her achievements in tennis, as well as Jamacia’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for her prowess in track and field.
Shiffrin’s nomination comes after a record-breaking season in 2018/19 when she became the first alpine athlete to win in all six disciplines on the World Cup circuit, as well as the first athlete to win more than 12 races in a season. She won 17 races total.
Since the first World Sports Awards event was held in 2000, (where Nelson Mandela gave the keynote speech), the award show has worked to recognize global achievement in sport, as well as shed light on the work of their foundation. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was created in response to Mandela’s challenge when he first spoke about sport’s power to change the world. Its mission is to use sport to end violence, discrimination, and disadvantage in countries around the world.
Shortlists of nominees for six categories are decided by the Laureus Nominations Panel, a group of 1,000 plus members of sports media that hail from over 70 countries. Categories of the year include Sportswoman, Sportsman, Team, Breakthrough, Comeback, and Action Sportsperson. The shortlist for Sportsperson of the year with a disability is provided by the International Paralympic Committee. From there, the Laureus World Sports Academy votes for the winners in each shortlisted categories.
Past winners include Tiger Woods, Simone Biles, Roger Federer, and Lindsey Vonn, who was awarded the Laureus Spirit of Sport award in 2019.