Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi took the top honors at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards.
Fraser-Pryce earned Sportswoman of the Year for the first time in her sixth nomination. The 36-year-old mom is coming off the best year of her career, having broken 10.70 seconds in the 100m a record seven times for one year, including winning the world title.
Fraser-Pryce is the second consecutive Jamaican sprinter to win the award after Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Other nominees included swimmer Katie Ledecky, hurdler Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, Polish tennis player Iga Swiatek and Spanish soccer player Alexia Putellas.
Messi won Sportsman of the Year for a second time after sharing the 2020 award with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. Messi, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, led Argentina last November and December to its first men’s World Cup title since 1986. The Argentina men’s soccer team also won Team of the Year.
Messi beat a field of nominees that included Swede Mondo Duplantis, who upped his pole vault world record three times in 2022 and swept the world indoor and outdoor and Diamond League titles in the event. Other nominees included two global stars who could make their Olympic debuts in 2024 — basketball player Stephen Curry and soccer player Kylian Mbappe — plus tennis player Rafael Nadal and Formula One driver Max Verstappen, who won last year.
Chinese freeskier Eileen Gu won Action Sportsperson of the Year after taking two golds and a silver at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Other nominees included two-time Olympic snowboard halfpipe champion Chloe Kim and reigning world champions in surfing, Australian Stephanie Gilmore and Brazilian Filipe Toledo.
Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz won Breakthrough of the Year over a group that included Olympic figure skating champion Nathan Chen and Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who broke the world record and won the world title in the 100m hurdles.
Swiss Paralympic champion wheelchair racer Catherine Debrunner won Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. American nominees included Nordic skier Oksana Masters, who at the 2022 Paralympics won seven medals, including three golds, and hockey player Declan Farmer, who scored two goals in the U.S.’ 5-0 win over Canada in the Paralympic hockey final.
Laureus World Sports Academy members voted to determine the winners.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk