The biggest sports stars gathered in Monaco last night for an event dedicated to celebrating last year's sporting feats. First held in 2000 with Nelson Mandela as the honorary guest, these awards recognise the power of sports to change the world through the more than 150 projects that their partners, members and ambassadors support.
Tennis player and Monte-Carlo resident Novak Djokovic was chosen Sportsman of the Year for the fourth time, while American gymnast and multiple gold medallist Simone Biles was elected Sportswoman of the Year. Golf player Tiger Woods was named Comeback of the Year and Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka took home the prize for Breakthrough of the Year.
Some of the champions of the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics were also celebrated, including skier Henrieta Farkkašová as Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, snowboarder Chloe Kim who was named Action Sportsperson of the Year and recently retired legendary skier Lindsey Vonn who got the Spirit for Sport Award.
The French national football team, winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, won the title of Team of the Year while French football manager Arsène Wenger won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge took home the Academy Exceptional Achievement Award and Yuwa, one of the largest girls’ football programs in India, received the Sport for Good Award.
Of all the prizes, there's one that's voted by the public, the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year. This year, it was given to Xia Boyu, the 69-year-old Chinese double amputee who made all the headlines when he climbed Mount Everest in May last year.