It was the turn of Monaco to host this year’s edition of the annual Laureus World Sports Awards, celebrating the achievements of world-class sportsmen and women from the past year. Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco, both Olympian athletes themselves (Bobsleigh and swimming respectively), Monaco was an apt location choice for the awards, the Principality being famous for her numerous sporting links. The awards evening took place in the glamorous Salle des Etoiles, part of the Sporting Club Monte Carlo where, like Monaco, the worlds of sport and celebrity were brought together, with actor Hugh Grant hosting the evening’s proceedings, following on from the success of 2016’s pundit, Bill Murray.
The focus of the evening was to not only celebrate the incredible sporting feats of the various winners, but also to raise further awareness of the causes supported by the Laureus Foundation; operating in over 35 countries, 150+ projects are supported by 180 Laureus Ambassadors, either assisting with community sports projects, training charities in the use of sport for diverse means, or assisting individual sporting initiatives.
The real draw of the evening, however, was the bringing together of sporting legends under one roof, many of whom were either nominees or award winners themselves. Luis Figo, Sir Steve Redgrave, Brian O’Driscoll, and Michael Johnson were just a few of the stars who descended upon Monaco for the special event, the most popular – unsurprisingly – being the effervescent Usain Bolt, who managed to have the whole room pulling his famous lightning bolt pose. The focus of the evening was to not only celebrate the incredible sporting feats of the various winners, but also to raise further awareness of the causes supported by the Laureus Foundation; operating in over 35 countries, 150+ projects are supported by 180 Laureus Ambassadors, either assisting with community sports projects, training charities in the use of sport for diverse means, or assisting individual sporting initiatives.
Those nominated in each category were chosen by a select panel of sports editors, writers, and broadcasters, the final winners being decided by a secret vote by Members of the Laureus Academy.
2017 Laureus World Sporting Awards Winners:
Sportsman of the Year: Usain Bolt
Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles
Comeback of the Year: Michael Phelps
Sportsperson of the Year with a disability: Beatrice Vio
Breakthrough of the Year: Nico Rosberg
Action Sportsperson of the Year: Rachel Atherton
Team of the Year: Chicaco Cubs
Spirit of Sport: Leicester City
Sport for Good: Waves for Change
Sporting Inspiration: Refugee Olympic Team
Best Sporting Moment: Barcelona U12S
The biggest cheer of the night came for the final award of the evening, the Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability – Beatrice Vio. Known affectionately as ‘Bebe’, Beatrice is the epitome and personification of sportsmanship; prior to contracting childhood meningitis – from which she lost all four limbs – one of her biggest passions was fencing, leading for her parents to found the Art4sport Onlus charity, assisting young amputee athletes. It took just three months of intensive rehabilitation for Beatrice to get back into the sport she loved, having special prosthetics made so that she was able to take up the foil once more. She now holds the Paralympic Gold Medal in fencing.
Force One were proud to work in conjunction with the Laureus Awards this year, providing the branding of both the ‘Sport for Good Lounge’ and the ‘Media Centre’, as well as for IWC Watches, longtime supporter of the awards. A special edition watch was launched also, the “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” watch.
IWC Schaffhausen celebrated the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco in the company of celebrities and influencers from the world of sports. The highlights of the event included a bike tour with the FORMULA ONE world champion Nico Rosberg and the official launch of the Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”.
Limited to 1,500 watches, this timepiece with its blue dial and back engraving is the 11th special edition to be launched by IWC as part of its commitment to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Some of the proceeds from sales are used to help to support the foundation’s sports projects for children and adolescents.