A public vote which gives sports fans the power to decide one of the winners of the landmark 20th anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards
- The Laureus Sporting Moment Award celebrates moments where sport has unified people in the most extraordinary way, demonstrating how sport has the power to change the world
- Vote runs from January 10 – February 16 – go to laureus.com/vote
- The winner is announced at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on February 17
- 20 years on, the words that Founding Patron, Nelson Mandela, spoke at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards still guide Laureus today – ‘Sport has the power to change the world; to unite people in a way little else does’. From sports stars to sports fans and the young people in Laureus Sport for Good programmes around the world: Sport Unites Us.
LONDON, January 10, 2020 – Today, Laureus launches the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000 – 2020 public vote, which gives sports fans the power to choose one of the winners of the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards. In Berlin on February 17, the 20th anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards will honour the greatest sporting triumphs of 2019, celebrate the power of sport in transforming the lives of young people around the world and, through this campaign, award the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment of the last 20 years.
The Laureus Sporting Moment Award celebrates the moments where sport has unified people in the most extraordinary way. This campaign shortlists 20 sporting stories from the last 20 years that have left their mark on the world. Shining a light on those unforgettable moments that have changed sporting history and inspired fans and followers around the globe. A collection of the world’s greatest sporting moments from the new millennium exemplifying sporting values such as fair play, sportsmanship, humanity, overcoming adversity, dedication and the power to unite through sport – all key values of the Laureus movement.
The Laureus Sporting Moment 2000 – 2020 public vote will celebrate the transformational power of sport and reinforce Laureus’ 20th anniversary message that ‘Sport Unites Us’. It was at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000 that Laureus Patron, Nelson Mandela, spoke the words which sparked the creation of the worldwide Sport for Good movement:
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where there once was only despair.”
It is in line with this powerful founding belief by which the moments have been selected, and now sports fans around the world have the chance to participate and vote for their favourite of the 20 shortlisted moments at laureus.com/vote.
With three knock-out rounds, the top-20 moments will be whittled down to ten then five, with the top-five moments going head-to-head, with one moment ultimately crowned the winner of Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020. As the only award voted for by the public, it’s over to you to decide who will take the coveted top spot as our Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020.
Voting takes place between January 10 and February 16, with the winner being announced during the Laureus World Sports Awards Show on Monday February 17, 2020 in Berlin.
LAUREUS SPORTING MOMENT 2000-2020 – THE 20 CONTENDERS
A GOLDEN PROMISE (2008) – Matthias Steiner, Weightlifting
Before she died, Olympic Weightlifter Matthias Steiner had promised his wife that he would win gold at Beijing 2008. He fulfilled his vow in an emotional final, kissing a picture of his late wife Susann on the gold medal podium, choking back tears over the promise he made to her that he would keep their Olympic dream. “I’m not the superstitious type, don’t believe in higher powers, but I hope she saw me. I wish.“
ABILITY OF THE MIND (2002) – Natalie du Toit, Swimming
After 17-year old Natalie du Toit was involved in a traffic accident, she had her leg amputated at the knee. Three months later, she returned to swimming and a year later, she made history. At the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, she qualified to swim in the 800-meter freestyle final – the first time that an amputee qualified to compete in the finals of a major international swimming competition.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER (2019 /2020) – Sky Brown, Skateboarding
Sky Brown is not your typical 11-year-old. She has been skateboarding since before she could walk and is the world’s youngest professional skateboarder. Her extraordinary talent on a board is also what’s set to make her the youngest Olympian in 80 years. With great maturity beyond her young age, Sky takes on numerous charitable pursuits, including encouraging girls to get into skateboarding, donating prize money, manufacturing skateboards with all profits of sales going to underprivileged children in poorer areas of the world.
BROTHERS IN ARMS (2016) – Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Triathlon
Alistair Brownlee gave up his chance of victory, helping his brother over the line in a dramatic end to the World Triathlon Series in Cozumel, Mexico. Suffering from exhaustion, Jonny stopped at the side of the road but Alistair, who had been running comfortably in third, put his arm around his brother and all but carried him along the final few hundred metres and then pushed him across the line.
CARRIED ON THE SHOULDERS OF A NATION (2011) – Sachin Tendulkar, Cricket
On his sixth attempt at the World Cup and with India not having won the competition since 1983, the legendary batsman, Sachin Tendulkar was finally a part of the team that reigned victorious. Carried on the shoulders of the Indian team, he made a lap of honour, shedding tears of joy after the victory was sealed in his home city.
CHALLENGE OF FATE (2018) – Xia Boyu, Mountaineering
2019 Laureus Sporting Moment winner
In 1975, Xia Boyu lost both feet after giving his sleeping bag to a teammate whilst climbing Mount Everest. After also battling cancer, Xia Boyu was determined never to give up on his dream of reaching the summit of Everest, so he kept trying. Aged 69 and on his fifth attempt, Xia Boyu became the second double-amputee to scale Everest and the first to reach the summit from the Nepalese side.
EQUAL PLAY, EQUAL PAY (2007) – Female Tennis Stars
In 2007, after pressure from Venus Williams and others, Wimbledon announced that female tennis players would receive prize money equal to the men’s. After the policies finally changed in 2007, she was awarded $1.4 million for her fourth Wimbledon victory, the same amount as the men’s champion, Roger Federer. This is a long-standing movement, dating back to Billie Jean-King with activists including Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Maria Sharapova, and is considered a tremendous “win” across female equality.
GLOBAL CITIZENS (2016) – Olympic Refugee Team
The first ever Olympic Refugee Team received a standing ovation at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. They walked behind the Olympic flag, since conflict has driven them from their home countries. As the athletes paraded, smiling and waving, the crowd in the stadium gave them a roaring cheer and stood up to applaud them.
ETERNAL CHAMPIONS (2017) – Chapecoense, Football
2018 Laureus Sporting Moment winner
On November 28, 2016, a plane carrying the Brazilian Chapecoense football team crashed on the way to a game. Only six of the 77 passengers survived – including three players. On August 7, 2017, defender Alan Ruschel who had surgery to repair a spinal cord injury, returned to the field in a friendly game against Barcelona. He played the first 35 minutes of the match before being subbed and receiving a standing ovation.
HAND OF FAIR PLAY (2012) – Miroslav Klose, Football
German international footballer Miroslav Klose, was playing for Lazio in Italy’s Serie A in 2012 against Napoli when he rose for a ball in the early moments of the game. The ball came spiralling off his hand and skirted into the back of the net and a goal was awarded. While most players would carry on as if nothing had happened, Klose was honest with the referee and admitted that he handled the ball. The goal was chalked off, and Napoli went on to win 3-0.
THE HANDSHAKE (2005) – Freddie Flintoff, Cricket
After a dramatic and intense Second Test of the 2005 Ashes, England eventually triumphed over Australia, winning by two runs and they regained the Ashes for the first time since 1987. Rather than celebrate with his team mates in a highly emotional and iconic moment, Freddie Flintoff headed over to a collapsing Brett Lee at the final wicket to console him in true sportsmanship.
HOUSTON STRONG (2017) – J. J. Watt, American Football
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, an estimated 27 trillion gallons of rain fell over Texas and parts of Louisiana over a span of six days. It was estimated the total recovery could require upwards of $200bn. Watching his community flood, Houston Texans’ star J. J. Watt went to work, raising money to help those battered by Harvey, raising more than $40m. He was honoured with the Laureus Sporting Inspiration Award for his work in 2018.
GIVING BACK (2016) – Ellie Marks, Swimming
While Ellie Marks was on her way to participate in the 2014 Invictus Games in London, she contracted a severe respiratory infection, which forced doctors at Papworth Hospital to place her in a medically induced coma for ten days. With sheer determination and perseverance in recovery, Marks went on to win all four of her swimming events at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. Upon receiving her gold medal in freestyle from Prince Harry, she requested him to take it back to the amazing NHS staff at Papworth Hospital who saved her life.
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON (2017) – Mick Schumacher, Motor Racing
In December 2013, motorsports legend, Michael Schumacher suffered a traumatic brain injury. All of Germany is worried for him, but his son, Mick Schumacher, is carrying on his legacy. The demonstration run, at a track where Schumacher took four of his record 91 Formula One wins, was being held to mark the 15th anniversary of his 2004 title success. “I think it’s mega driving this car in Hockenheim. The F2004 was a fantastic car which took 15 wins and both championship titles in a season that can be seen as the culmination of a golden period.”
MESSAGE OF RESPECT (2018) – Japan Men’s National Football Team
After leading Belgium in 2-0 in a FIFA World Cup match, the Japan Men’s National Football Team eventually lost the game 2-3. Understandably, the players and supporters were emotionally crushed. But despite such a loss, the Japanese players maintained their composure and respectfully bowed to their Belgian counterparts. And back in the locker room, they cleaned up before heading back home. They even left a note thanking Russia for hosting a wonderful World Cup.
ONE MOMENT, ONE NATION (2000) – Cathy Freeman, Athletics
Australian runner and Laureus Academy Member Cathy Freeman was the first Aborigine ever to compete in the Olympics, and the first to wave the Aboriginal flag at a sporting event. Freeman lit the Olympic flame at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and won a gold medal in the 400 meters at those Games. She became a symbol – not only for the Aborigine community – but as a new, modern Australia.
RIDING THE WAVE (2014) – Bethany Hamilton, Surfing
At the age of 13 in 2003, Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm after a vicious shark attack. Only months after the attack, the teenager was back on a surfboard and performing competitively, landing herself a spot on the US team. With hard work and determination, it wasn’t until 2014 that she won her first big competition, the infamous Pipeline. Hamilton was given no special privileges or assistance making it past the pounding waves and was still able to defeat a crop of talented female surfers.
RUNNING THE WORLD (2019) – Nick Butter, Athletics
In November 2019, Nick Butter became the first and only person to run a full marathon in every country in the world – and he completed it in just 23 months! Inspired by his friend Kevin Webber, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Nick quit his job to embark on the challenge of a lifetime – running a marathon in all of the 196 countries recognised by the United Nations, raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. Nick completed the incredible feat on November 10 2019, sharing an emotional moment with Kevin as they crossed the finish line in Greece together.
SPORTING KIDS (2016) – Barcelona U12 Boys’ Team, Football
2017 Laureus Sporting Moment winner
Barcelona’s Under-12 Boys’ Team proved football really is a gentleman’s game after they were seen consoling their Japanese rivals after beating them 1-0 in the final of the Junior Soccer World Challenge. Players from Omiya Ardija looked distraught at the final whistle, as Barcelona celebrated. It wasn’t long before the Barcelona boys noticed and rushed to hug their rivals in a touching display of sportsmanship.
ZANARDI AT THE WHEEL (2016) – Alex Zanardi, Hand Cycling
Former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi won a Paralympic gold medal on the eve of the 15-year anniversary of the crash which resulted in both of his legs being amputated. The then 49-year-old hand-cyclist, who had won two gold medals at London 2012, finished first in the H5 road time trial in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
To view the moments and vote, visit laureus.com/vote
Laureus Sport for Good is a global charity working to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, using sport to transform the lives of children and young people.
Laureus was established in 2000 by Founding Partners, Richemont and Daimler, who continue to support all aspects of Laureus through their brands Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. They were joined as Global Partners in 2018 by global banking giant MUFG, formerly known as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
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