LONDON, January 23, 2012 - Sporting greats, past and present, will be in the audience when the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards is held in London on Monday, February 6.
At the Awards Ceremony will be a host of Laureus Academy Members, Ambassadors, Nominees and sports stars from around the world, including Boris Becker, Bobby Charlton, Nadia Comaneci, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ruud Gullit, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Edwin Moses, Martina Navratilova, Gary Player, Steve Redgrave, Mark Spitz and Steve Waugh.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury made up of 47 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at Central Hall, Westminster, in London.
Double Olympic gold medallist Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: "I am delighted that the 2012 Laureus Awards is to be staged in London. Sport is close to the hearts of everyone in London and the UK and that makes me very excited that the Awards are being held here. I am thrilled that so many members of the Laureus Family will be there to salute the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year."
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: "I am excited that the Laureus World Sports Awards and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation have decided to bring the Awards to London for 2012. Laureus and I share a commitment to making sport a positive part of everyone's life regardless of age and ability. Celebrating the power of sport here in London with the world's sporting superstars will provide the perfect start to our Olympic year and it marks the beginning of a real and long-lasting grassroots sports legacy for London and beyond."
Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Awards Ceremonies have been Jenson Button, Roger Federer, Sir Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Justine Henin, Kelly Holmes, Rafael Nadal, Sir Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane. Guests attending the Awards Ceremony have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.
Laureus combines the Laureus World Sports Awards, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Academy to form a unique international sports organisation that uses the inspirational power of sport as a force for good. The Laureus Foundation is a global leader in research, expertise and best practice in supporting grassroots sports programmes around the world.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports 91 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €40 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.
The full list of Nominees for the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica, Athletics), Novak Djokovic (Serbia, Tennis), Cadel Evans (Australia, Cycling), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Football), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany, Basketball), Sebastian Vettel (Germany, Motor Racing)
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya, Athletics), Maria Höfl-Riesch (Germany, Alpine Skiing), Carmelita Jeter (US, Athletics), Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic, Tennis), Homare Sawa (Japan, Football), Yani Tseng (Taiwan, Golf)
Laureus World Team of the Year
All Blacks (N.Zealand, Rugby), FC Barcelona (Spain, Football), Dallas Mavericks (US, Basketball), England Cricket Team (UK), Japan Women's Football Team, Red Bull (Austria, Motor Racing)
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yohan Blake (Jamaica, Athletics), Mo Farah (UK, Athletics), Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic, Tennis), Rory McIlroy (UK, Golf), Li Na (China, Tennis), Oscar Pistorius (S.Africa, Athletics)
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Eric Abidal (France, Football), Darren Clarke (UK, Golf), Crusaders (N.Zealand, Rugby), Sergio Garcia (Spain, Golf), Liu Xiang (China, Athletics), Queensland Reds (Australia, Rugby)
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Daniel Dias (Brazil, Swimming), Terezinha Guilhermina (Brazil, Athletics), Oscar Pistorius (S.Africa, Athletics), Esther Vergeer (Netherlands, Wheelchair Tennis), David Weir (UK, Wheelchair Athletics), Irek Zaripov (Russia, Nordic Skiing)
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Jamie Bestwick (UK, BMX), Philip Köster (Germany, Windsurfing), Carissa Moore (US, Surfing),
Travis Rice (US, Snowboarding), Kelly Slater (US, Surfing), Shaun White (US, Skateboarding/Snowboarding)