By Joanne C. Gerstner |
Jan. 17, 2019,
12:04 p.m. (ET)
(L-R) Chloe Kim, Tiger Woods and Simone Biles are among those nominated.
Simone Biles came back from a post-Olympic break to win four gymnastics world titles and world medals in all six events this past year. Mikaela Shiffrin won her second Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing in February, then defended her world cup overall title and got the new season off to a record-setting start.
The two American women now find themselves and their 2018 historic accomplishments up for the same big award, as they were both named as finalists in the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards on Thursday.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists lead the way in the Laureus finalist nominations, with Oksana Masters, Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White, Biles, Shiffrin, LeBron James and Chloe Kim among the international group of nominees. The 2017-18 Golden State Warriors are also a finalist in the Team of the Year division.
The 2019 Laureus Awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 18 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The awards are designed to honor the best sporting achievements of the previous year. The winners are chosen by a vote of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a panel of 66 male and female sports legends.
Biles and Shiffrin are in the World Sportswoman of the Year category, among a group of finalists that includes tennis players Simona Halep of Romania and Angelique Kerber of Germany, skier/snowboarder Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic and Ironman triathlete Daniela Ryf of Switzerland. Biles took home this award in 2017, sandwiching wins by U.S. tennis star Serena Williams.
U.S. Paralympian Masters, who won two gold medals and a bronze in cross-country skiing, plus two silvers in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, again is nominated in the Sportsperson with a Disability category. She is the most decorated American Paralympian in Nordic skiing.
Snowboarders Kim and White, both of whom won Olympic halfpipe snowboarding titles this past February in PyeongChang, are up for World Action Sportsperson of the Year, adding to their list of nominations. White has been nominated for nine Laureus awards, while Kim has been a finalist three times.
Vonn, along with golfer Tiger Woods, is a finalist in the Comeback of the Year category. Vonn, who battled back from injuries to win an Olympic bronze medal in the downhill last year after missing the 2014 Olympics, actually plans another comeback of sorts this weekend, when she makes her long-awaited world cup season debut in Italy.
Vonn and Woods are past winners in the Sportswoman and Sportsman categories, respectively.
Rounding out the Americans nominated in individual categories is two-time Olympic champion basketball player LeBron James, who is up for World Sportsman of the Year after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row in 2018. He goes against tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia, F1 racing star Lewis Hamilton of the U.K., marathoner Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, and soccer stars Kylian Mbappe of France and Luka Modric of Croatia.
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Tennis
Lewis Hamilton (UK), Motor Racing
LeBron James (USA), Basketball
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya), Athletics
Kylian Mbappé (France), Football
Luka Modric (Croatia), Football
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Simone Biles (USA), Gymnastics
Simona Halep (Romania), Tennis
Angelique Kerber (Germany), Tennis
Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic), Skiing / Snowboarding
Daniela Ryf (Switzerland), Ironman Triathlon
Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), Skiing
Laureus World Team of the Year
European Ryder Cup Team, Golf
France Men’s Football Team
Golden State Warriors (USA), Basketball
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team (Germany)
Norway Winter Olympics Team
Real Madrid (Spain), Football
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Ana Carrasco (Spain), Motor Cycling
Sofia Goggia (Italy), Skiing
Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway), Athletics
Naomi Osaka (Japan), Tennis
Geraint Thomas (UK), Cycling
Briana Williams (Jamaica), Athletics
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan), Skating
Mark McMorris (Canada), Snowboarding
Bibian Mentel-Spee (Netherlands), Snowboarding
Vinesh Phogat (India), Wrestling
Lindsey Vonn (USA), Skiing
Tiger Woods (USA), Golf
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Henrieta Farkasova (Slovakia), Skiing
Diede de Groot (Netherlands), Wheelchair Tennis
Brian McKeever (Canada), Cross-country Skiing
Oksana Masters (USA), Cross-country Skiing
Grigorios Polychronidis (Greece), Boccia
Markus Rehm (Germany), Athletics
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Maya Gabeira (Brazil), Surfing
Anna Gasser (Austria), Snowboarding
Stephanie Gilmore (Australia), Surfing
Chloe Kim (USA), Snowboarding
Gabriel Medina (Brazil), Surfing
Shaun White (USA), Snowboarding
Joanne C. Gerstner has covered two Olympic Games and writes regularly for the New York Times and other outlets about sports. She has written for TeamUSA.org since 2009 as a freelance contributor on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.