Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi were declared joint winners of the 2020 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin last night. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team was one of six nominees for World Team of the Year.
For the first time in the 20-year history of the Laureus World Sports Awards, the prestigious Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award was given to two sporting greats – Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and footballer Lionel Messi. Both athletes received the same number of votes from the jury and thus both of them were awarded the prestigious trophy.
The award was given out for their achievements in 2019, a year in which Lewis won his sixth Formula One Drivers’ World Championship and Lionel was awarded the Best FIFA Men’s Player. Both athletes played an important role in the success of their respective teams as well, with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team claiming its sixth consecutive Constructors’ World Championship in 2019 and the FC Barcelona winning the Spanish league title and making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Lewis and Lionel were nominated alongside runner Eliud Kipchoge, the first athlete to ever complete a marathon in under two hours, six-time Moto GP Champion Marc Marquez, golfer Tiger Woods, who won his 82nd PGA Tour last year, and tennis player Rafael Nadal, who won his 19th Grand Slam in 2019.
“Wow, this is such an incredible honour,” said Lewis upon receiving the award. “I grew up in a sport that has really given my life meaning and I’m so grateful for what it’s provided me. But I’ve also grown up in a sport that has very little to no diversity. That’s an issue that we’re continuously facing, and I think it’s all of our responsibility to use our platform for that, to keep pushing for gender equality, for inclusivity and making sure that we are engaging and trying to represent where the world is today.
“I want to say a big, big thank you to Mercedes-Benz who have always been such a huge supporter. They signed me when I was 13 and I’m so grateful for them for giving a young thirteen-year-old the opportunity to live his dream. I also want to acknowledge Laureus for all the incredible work they do around the world and for changing people’s lives and for giving people hope – please continue to do so. Thank you very much!”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team nominated as World Team of the Year
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team was one of six teams nominated for the World Team of the Year Award. It was the sixth nomination for the Mercedes works team; in 2018, the team won the award.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team was nominated alongside five legendary teams – Liverpool FC, Toronto Raptors, the US Women’s Football Team, the Spanish Men’s Basketball Team and the South African Rugby Union Team, which claimed the award for best team last night.
About the Laureus World Sports Awards
The Laureus World Sports Awards are an annual awards show hosted by the Laureus Sport for Good foundation. Last night, a total of eleven awards were handed out in different categories. The nominees for Sportsman, Sportswoman, Team, Breakthrough and Comeback of the Year are selected by sport journalists and broadcasters; for the 2020 awards over 1,000 votes were cast by sport journalists from 93 countries. The winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards are then chosen by the Laureus Academy Members – a group of 68 sporting legends from around the world. A list of the 68 Academy Members can be found here.
About Laureus Sport for Good
The Laureus Sport for Good foundation is a charity that uses sport to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives. The work of Laureus Sport for Good focuses on six key social issues identified by the UN that are affecting young people across the world: health and wellbeing, education, women and girls, employability, inclusive society and peaceful society.
This year, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation celebrates its 20th birthday. It was founded in early 2000 by Daimler AG and Richemont. Over the last 20 years, Laureus Sport for Good has raised more than EUR150m. Together with its partners, Laureus Sport for Good has reached almost 6m children and young people since 2000. The initiative is one of the largest development-through-sport organisations in the world and currently supports around 200 sports projects in 40 countries. Mercedes-Benz is one of three Global Partners of the foundation.