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  • Lightning’ Bolt Heads Global Sports Stars Attending Laureus 2024 In Madrid

Lightning’ Bolt Heads Global Sports Stars Attending Laureus 2024 In Madrid

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MADRID: Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all-time, heads the sporting legends attending this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards, the most prestigious honours event on the international sporting calendar.

The Jamaican super star, famous for his trademark victory lightning bolt pose, won four Laureus Awards in his spectacular career in which he won eight Olympic and 11 World Championship gold medals between 2008 and 2016.

Now Usain is back at Laureus to join many of the biggest names in sport, past and present, who will be in Madrid on April 22, paying tribute to the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. The Laureus Awards typically attract the widest spread of stars from different sport across the board, emphasising their reputation as ‘The Athletes Awards’.

Among the tennis stars attending will be two-time Spanish Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza, Katie Boulter, Alex de Minaur, Elena Rybakina and, fresh from victory at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Nominees and skateboarding sensations Arisa Trew and Rayssa Leal will also be in Madrid, together with Action Nominee and Brazilian surfer Filipe Toledo, MMA star Ilia Topuria and many other current sporting stars.

They are joined by a classic collection of some of the greatest footballers ever to play the game – all members of the Laureus World Sports Academy: Brazil’s World Cup legend Cafu, Italian goalscoring phenomenon Alessandro Del Piero, former captain of France and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly, Portugal’s Luis Figo, who played for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, Dutch master Ruud Gullit, and the great Raúl, star of Real Madrid and Spain.

Also present will be Atletico Madrid star and Argentina World Cup winner Rodrigo De Paul, classy defender Patrice Evra, who played 81 times for France, and Fabio Capello, coach of AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus as well as national sides England and Russia.

The six Nominees for Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability will also be at the Awards in the Spanish capital, including New Zealand cyclist Nicole Murray, para swimmers Danylo Chufarov and Simone Barlaam, Hungarian para athlete Luca Ekler, German long jumper Markus Rehm and wheelchair tennis great Diede de Groot.

This is the 25th edition of the Laureus Awards – now regarded as the ‘Athletes’ Awards’ due to the unique selection process and the regard in which they are held by sportsmen and women at all levels.

The responsibility of selecting the Winners falls to the Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy – legends of sport who are best-placed to appreciate the unique stories and achievements of the Nominees selected in each category by a panel of over 1,300 top sports media.

This is the first time the Laureus Awards have been held in Madrid and Spanish sporting legend Miguel Indurain joins Raúl among the Academy Members present on Monday, April 22 at the Palacio de Cibeles, one of the Spanish capital’s most iconic buildings. Other Academy Members who will share in the celebrations include tennis icon Martina Navratilova, Academy Chairman and rugby legend Sean Fitzpatrick, gymnastic great Nadia Comaneci.

Among those joining Nominees and sports stars as well as sports fans from fashion, film and entertainment are:

Football: Cafu, Fabio Capello, Alessandro Del Piero, Rodrigo De Paul, Marcel Desailly, Patrice Evra, Luis Figo, Ruud Gullit, Raúl
Athletics: Usain Bolt, Nawal El Moutawakel, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Michael Johnson, Edwin Moses, Tanni Grey-Thompson
Rugby: Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Bryan Habana, Hugo Porta, Siya Kolisi
Skiing: Maria Hőfl-Riesch, Franz Klammer, Alberto Tomba, Lindsey Vonn
Cycling: Fabian Cancellara, Miguel Indurain​​
Tennis: Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker, Garbiñe Muguruza, Alex de Minaur, Katie Boulter, Elena Rybakina, Stefanos Tsitsipas
Gymnastics: Nadia Comaneci, Li Xiaopeng​​
MMA: Ilia Topuria
Motor Cycling: Giacomo Agostini, Jorge Lorenzo
Motor Racing: Sophia Flörsch
Para Athletics: Markus Rehm, Luca Ekler
Para Cycling: Nicole Murray
Para Swimming: Danylo Chufarov, Simone Barlaam, Daniel Dias
Rowing: Steve Redgrave
Squash: Nicol David​
Skateboarding: Arisa Trew, Rayssa Leal
Speed Skating: Yang Yang
Hockey: Luciana Aymar​
Sailing: Kirsten Neuschäfer
Surfing: Filipe Toledo
Wheelchair Tennis: Diede de Groot

While celebrating the greatest sporting successes of the year, the Laureus World Sports Awards also showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and inequality, showing how sport can change the world. Today Laureus supports more than 260 programmes in over 45 countries, working to transform society and improve the lives of young people. Since its inception in 2000, Laureus Sport for Good has used the power of sport to improve the lives of more than six-and-a-half million children and young adults.

The impact of the Awards is a key element to both the planning and delivery of the 2024 event. Working closely with both Host Partners, Madrid City Council and the Regional Government of Madrid, Laureus will bring the expertise and support of Laureus Sport for Good to leave a lasting legacy for the young people of the city and region of Madrid.

The full list of Nominees is:   

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis – won three Grand Slams, finishing 2023 with a record-equalling 24
Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) Athletics – twice improved his own world pole vault record and won a second world title
Erling Haaland (Norway) Football – his 52 goals spearheaded Manchester City’s treble season
Noah Lyles (USA) Athletics – won the 100, 200 and 4 x 100 metres relay at the World Athletics Championships
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football – a record eighth Ballon d’Or and a record 44th trophy win
Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Motor Racing – completed a hat-trick of Formula One World Championships

Aitana Bonmatí  (Spain) Football – won the World Cup, Champions League and Liga F – plus Ballon d’Or Féminin.
Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) Athletics – won 200 metre gold at the World Championships
Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) Athletics – first woman to win 1,500 and 5,000 metre double at the World Championships
Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) Athletics – golds in 100 and 4 x 100 metre relay
Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) Alpine Skiing – became the all-time leader in World Cup wins
Iga Świątek (Poland) Tennis – won in France and regained World No.1 spot at WTA Finals

European Ryder Cup Team – Golf – regained trophy with dominant display in Rome
Germany Men’s Basketball Team – FIBA World Cup champions after shock wins over USA and Serbia
Manchester City (UK) Football – treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League
Oracle Red Bull Racing Formula One Team (Austria) – second consecutive constructors’ title after winning all but one race
Springboks (South Africa) Rugby – winners of a record fourth World Cup
Spain Women’s Football Team – World Cup winners after a game-changing tournament in Australia

Jude Bellingham (UK) Football – winner of Golden Boy Award for Real Madrid’s new star
Linda Caicedo (Colombia) Football – played in under-17, under-20 and senior World Cup in the same year
Coco Gauff (USA) Tennis – maiden Grand Slam title came in US Open, aged 19
Qin Haiyang (China) Swimming – swept the breaststroke events (50, 100 & 200 metres) at World Championships
Josh Kerr (UK) Athletics – stunned favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win 1,500 metre world title
Salma Paralluelo (Spain) Football – FIFA Young Player Award winner for best young footballer at the World Cup

Simone Biles (USA) Gymnastics – after a two-year absence, returned to win four World Championship golds
Sébastien Haller (Ivory Coast) Football – recovered from cancer diagnosis to return for Borussia Dortmund
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (UK) Athletics – won heptathlon gold at World Championships after multiple injuries
Siya Kolisi (South Africa) Rugby – came back from ACL tear to lead his country to World Cup glory
Jamal Murray (Canada) Basketball – after 18 months out, won NBA Championship with Denver
Markéta Vondroušová (Czech Republic) Tennis – won Wimbledon as an unseeded player after a series of injuries

Simone Barlaam (Italy) Para Swimming – six golds at the Para Swimming World Championships
Danylo Chufarov (Ukraine) Para Swimming – two world records, three golds at the Para Swimming World Championships
Diede de Groot (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis – third successive calendar Grand Slam in wheelchair tennis
Luca Ekler (Hungary) Para Athletics – golds in 200 and 400 metres, plus long jump, at the Para Athletics World Championships
Nicole Murray (New Zealand) Para Cycling – a champion on the road and the track in 2023
Markus Rehm (Germany) Para Athletics – a sixth world title and a 14th world record for the long jumper

Rayssa Leal (Brazil) Skateboarding – street golds at three major championships in 2023
Caroline Marks (USA) Surfing – first world title for emerging superstar
Kirsten Neuschȁfer (South Africa) Sailing – first woman to win a solo round-the-world race via three great capes
Bethany Shriever (UK) BMX – regained her world title in Glasgow
Filipe Toledo (Brazil) Surfing – defended his world title in California
Arisa Trew (Australia) Skateboarding – 13-year-old became first skateboarder to land 720 in competition

Programmes nominated by a specialist selection panel; Laureus Academy select the winner
Bola Pra Frente (Brazil) Multi-sport x Employability – using sport and education to increase opportunities for youth
Dancing Grounds (USA) Dancing x Social Integration – advocating for social justice through dance
Fundación Rafa Nadal (Spain) Tennis x Education – using sport in Mallorca and India to empower young people
ISF Cambodia Football x Education – breaking the cycle of poverty through the power of football
Justice Desk Africa (South Africa) Multi-sport x Human Rights – empowering youth to defend their human rights through sport
Obiettivo Napoli (Italy)  Multi-sport x Inclusion – developing social skills in young people experiencing exclusion and hardship


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