London track champ Usain Bolt took top honors at the Laureus sports awards Monday night, earning his third Sportsman of the Year award since 2009.
Bolt, who swept the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m for the second consecutive Summer Games, beat out Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins, two-time gold medalist Mo Farah, Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi, and F1 racer Sebastian Vettel for the award.
“This last season was a tough year,” Bolt admitted after winning his award. He suffered setbacks, injuries, and surprising back-t0-back losses to Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake at their country’s national championships just before the Olympics, but Bolt rebounded to beat Blake to the line in London.
British heptathlete Jessica Ennis took home the Sportswoman of the Year after winning gold in front of her home crowd last summer as part of an incredible evening for Great Britain, when Farah earned the 10,000m victory and Greg Rutherford surprised everyone by winning the long jump.
“It’s so surreal to stand here,” Ennis said. “It’s an incredible feeling.”
Ennis beat American gold medalists Allyson Felix, Missy Franklin, Lindsey Vonn, and Serena Williams, as well as Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who took home three medals last summer.