- The Laureus Awards is an annual award ceremony honouring individuals and teams from the world of sports and sporting achievements throughout the year
- The sportswoman and sportsman prizes went to Elaine Thompson-Herah and F1 defending world championMax Verstappen
- Tom Brady, who is into his 23rd season as a pro-NFL player, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award
- Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski won the Exceptional Achievement Award
Elaine Thompson-Herah, Max Verstappen, and Tom Brady took home the top honours at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
In Sunday’s ceremony, Thompson-Herah was crowned World Sportswoman of the Year, while F1 world champion Max Verstappen was named World Sportsman of the Year.
Brady was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Thompson-Herah won a historic ‘double double’ in Tokyo 2020, becoming the first woman in Olympic history to defend the 100m and 200m successfully.
To win the prestigious award, she beat out Ashleigh Barty, Allyson Felix, Katie Ledecky, Emma McKeon, and Alexia Putellas.
“It’s been an amazing season,” said Thompson-Herah.
“To be the first woman to win double Olympics [titles, at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020] – and to be the fastest woman alive – is an honour.”
Last year, Verstappen won the Formula One drivers’ championship with a highly controversial last–gasp victory in Abu Dhabi.
He won the award ahead of Tom Brady, Novak Djokovic, Caeleb Dressel, Eliud Kipchoge, and Robert Lewandowski.
“It was a very crazy and hectic year, and of course, I was pleased to come out on top. It was a dream come true; it’s what I worked for from a very young age,” said Verstappen.
“But also, it’s not only me. There’s a whole team behind me. So many people working on two cars to perform, to allow me to win the championship and eventually also winning this award.”
Brady, primarily regarded as the best quarterback of all time, owns a seven victories Super Bowl record.
“I was very fortunate to fall in love with a game that’s brought me so many incredible moments and experiences in my life,” said Brady.
“I began playing as a 14-year-old boy in California with the dreams of achieving a professional career and never understanding where that career could lead me.
“I feel very blessed to meet so many incredible teammates, coaches, members of multiple organisations that were so committed to winning games and doing amazing things in the community.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers great announced his retirement in February, only to make a surprise U-turn a month later, claiming he had “unfinished business” in the NFL.
Two Team GB stars who competed in the Tokyo Olympics were also successful.
Sky Brown received World Comeback of the Year after coming back from a horrific car accident in 2020, in which she fractured her skull to win bronze in skateboarding.
Brown, who was only 13 years old, became Britain’s youngest Olympic medalist.
“This is insane. I had some ups and downs. Falling, having a pretty bad accident and getting back up, winning a medal, is just insane,” said Brown.
“I’m so thankful for everything. I feel like even the fall just pushed me.”
After becoming Britain’s first gold medalist in BMX, Beth Shriever was voted World Action Sportsperson of the Year, with Sir Chris Hoy, cycling royalty, presenting her with the award.
“I just thought being nominated was enough. But to win it, wow. What an absolute honour,” said Shriever.
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Poland won the Exceptional Achievement Award.
Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s 49-year-old Bundesliga record of 41 goals in a single season, which many felt would never be broken.
“It really means a lot to be recognised and appreciated by such wonderful people, athletes and legends from all over the world of sport.
“There are no shortcuts to success in professional sport. If you want to be the best, you have to do your best.”
He also used his acceptance speech to highlight the conflict in Ukraine, saying that “no sport is without peace.”
FULL LIST OF THE LAUREUS AWARD WINNERS
Sportsman of the Year Award: Max Verstappen (Motor racing).
Sportswoman of the Year Award: Elaine Thompson-Herah (Athletics).
World Team of the Year Award: Italy Men’s Football Team.
Breakthrough of the Year Award: Emma Raducanu (Tennis).
Comeback of the Year Award: Sky Brown (Skateboarding).
World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award: Marcel Hug
World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award: Bethany Shriever (BMX).
Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Brady (American football).
Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Robert Lewandowski.
Sporting Icon Award: Valentino Rossi (Motorcycle Racing).
Sport for Good Award: Lost Boyz Inc (Baseball).
Sport for Good Society Award: Real Madrid Foundation.
Athlete Advocate of the Year Award: Gerald Asamoah and the Black