Laureus World Sports Awards 2014
ALL BLACKS, BAYERN MUNICH, MIAMI HEAT AND RED BULL RACING AMONG BIG-HITTERS FIGHTING FOR NOMINATION FOR 2014 LAUREUS WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD
· Bryan Twins in the running after historic tennis ‘Golden Slam’
· British and Irish Lions head strong rugby challenge for Nomination
· European Solheim Cup Team are contenders after first win in US
· World’s media vote for SIX Nominees for Laureus Team Award
· 15th Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur on March 26
· Apply for media accreditation at http://accreditation.laureus.com/
LONDON, February 20, 2014 – A blue chip collection of some of the greatest teams in the world are in the running for Nomination for the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Champions League winners Bayern Munich, NBA champions Miami Heat, Formula 1 Constructors’ World Champions Red Bull Racing and New Zealand’s All Blacks are all strong contenders, while the Bryan Twins are also attracting support after completing a tennis doubles’ Golden Slam.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, now celebrating its 15th year, is recognised as the premier honours event in the international sporting calendar. The names of the six Nominees for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, as voted by the Laureus Media Selection Panel, will be announced later this month and the winner unveiled at the Awards Ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on March 26.
Bayern Munich look favourites to become one of the Nominees after they were the first club to complete the treble of UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup. In the Bundesliga, they lost only one match and created many records: most points in a season (91); highest winning points margin (25); most wins (29); fewest goals conceded (18). Six players were nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year Award: Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger, with Ribery making the final shortlist of three.
Miami Heat captured the NBA title for the second year running, after a dramatic game seven in the NBA Finals against San Antonio Spurs which the Heat won 95-88. Inevitably the hero was LeBron James who scored 37 points, equalling the record for an NBA Finals game seven. He was also named Finals MVP for the second straight season. Dwyane Wade scored 23 and Shane Battier had 18. In five seasons coach Erik Spoelstra has now lead the Heat to five play-offs and two Championship wins.
New Zealand’s All Blacks continued their superb run of form winning all 14 of their Test matches for a 100% record in 2013 – the first time a national team has achieved this since the game went professional. Lead by veteran Richie McCaw, the team includes Kieran Read at No 8, the International Player of the Year, and fly-half Dan Carter, the highest points scorer in Test match rugby.
Red Bull Racing won the Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship for the fourth straight year in 2013. Sebastian Vettel secured the drivers’ championship, winning 13 Grand Prix during the year, including a run of nine straight victories, while co-driver Mark Webber had eight podium finishes. The team’s Adrian Newey became the first car designer to win ten drivers' and ten constructors' titles.
On July 6, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan won their third Wimbledon - their 15th career Grand Slam title - which made them the first doubles pair to hold all four major titles and the Olympic gold medal at the same time, giving them a historic Golden Slam. The 35-year-olds have won more matches, more tournaments and more Grand Slams than any other pair. In April they secured their 800th win.
In addition to Bayern Munich, several other football teams have strong credentials for Nomination. Under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil won a record fourth Confederations Cup, beating Spain 3-0 in the final, ending the World Cup holders unbeaten run of 29 matches in competitive football. The Germany Women’s Football Team won their sixth straight European Championship with a 1-0 win over Norway in the final in Stockholm. And Nigeria beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in front of 85,000 in Johannesburg in February to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time.
In rugby, the British and Irish Lions won their first Test series since 1997, beating Australia 2-1. Coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton filled the same roles for the Lions as they do for the Wales Rugby Team, which won the European Six Nations Championship for the second straight year and provided the bulk of the players for the Lions.
Under coach Bernard Laporte, Rugby Club Toulonnais won their first ever Heineken Cup in 2013 - their only major trophy in 20 years - thanks to a wonderful defence and the brilliant kicking of Jonny Wilkinson, who was named European Player of the Year.
The European Solheim Cup Team won in the United States for the first time with a 18-10 victory in Colorado. It was also the first time that Europe have retained the trophy. Brilliantly lead by captain Liselotte Neumann, Europe had six rookies in their squad - Carlota Ciganda, Charley Hull, Caroline Masson, Beatriz Recari, Giulia Sergas and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
In addition to Miami Heat, three other American teams have strong claims for Nomination. Baltimore Ravens beat San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to win their second Super Bowl, at the end of the 2012/13 season. The Ravens have had great success since moving from Cleveland, making the play-offs nine times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories. Alabama Crimson Tide won their second straight college football title under coach Nick Saban and their third in four years, beating Notre Dame 42-14. Saban is the first coach to win back-to-back BCS titles. In ice hockey. Chicago Blackhawks beat Boston Bruins 4-2 to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons.
The Spain Handball Team won their second World Championship in style after they defeated favourites and European title holders Denmark 35-19 on home ground in Barcelona, while Team Sky won their second straight Tour de France through Chris Froome.
The Laureus World Sports Awards recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2013. The names of the six Nominees for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, as voted by the Laureus Media Selection Panel, comprising leading sports editors, sports writers, broadcasters and online journalists from around the world, will be announced on Wednesday, February 26, along with the names of Nominees from six other categories.
The eventual winners will then be chosen in a secret ballot by the ultimate sports jury, the 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy - the living legends of sport honouring the greatest athletes of today – and unveiled at the Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony, to be staged in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, March 26.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 140 sports-based community projects in 34 countries around the world that have helped to improve the lives of over one-and-a-half million young people.
Among those who have been honoured at previous Awards Ceremonies are Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Michael Phelps, 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, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.
YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri, Minister of Tourism & Culture of Malaysia, said: “Kuala Lumpur is honoured to have been given the privilege of hosting the prestigious 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards and the city looks forward to staging this internationally-renowned event and welcoming a plethora of sporting legends to Malaysia. This is a sports-loving country and I can promise warm Malaysian hospitality awaits all our guests. Coupled with international events such as the Monsoon Cup and Formula One Grand Prix, we are supremely confident that Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is the perfect host for a sporting event with such global significance. I am positive this will be an event to remember for all involved.”
Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness, education and health problems such as obesity. Since its inception Laureus has raised over €60 million to support projects around the world.
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