Olympic champion swimmer Missy Franklin is one of four American athletes nominated for World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards, to be held March 11 in Rio de Janeiro.
On the last weekend of February, Franklin ended her high school career on a championship note as she helped lead Regis Jesuit High School to a Class 5A Colorado State title.
She turns her focus to the Berkeley campus where she'll be wearing the blue and gold swimsuit for the California Golden Bears and hopes to collect a little more hardware next month.
Vying for the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award, Franklin is up against fellow Americans Lindsay Vonn, who won the award in 2011, Allyson Felix, and Serena Williams, who won twice (in 2010 and 2003).
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and England’s Jessica Ennis are also nominated.
“I am humbled and honored to even be nominated for this Laureus Award,” Franklin said. “To even be considered in a category with Allyson Felix, Jessica Ennis and all the other amazing nominees, I feel like I’m already a winner. There have been so many amazing female performances in sport this year and to even be included on that list is really an honor in itself.”
Since 2000, the Laureus World Sports Awards has been the premier global awards, honoring the greatest sportsmen and women each year. Past award recipients include Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jennifer Capriati, Kelly Slater and Novak Djokovic.
“It’s always an honor to know that amazing athletes you have respect and admiration for took notice of your performance,” Franklin said. “When I look at some of the past winners and nominees for the Laureus Awards, it’s hard to believe that my name is now on that list. That being said, I also have so much respect for the Laureus organization and the mission of “using the power of sport as a tool for social change.Sports have been such an important part of my life and I understand the positive impact that they can have around the world.”
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports over 140 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €60 million (or more than $80 million) for projects which have improved the lives of more than 1.5 million youths.
The full list of Nominees for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards is listed below:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Track and Field; Mo Farah (UK) Track and Field; Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football; Michael Phelps (US) Swimming; Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing; Bradley Wiggins (UK) Cycling
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Jessica Ennis (UK) Track and Field; Allyson Felix (US) Track and Field: Missy Franklin (US) Swimming; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Track and Field; Lindsey Vonn (US) Skiing; Serena Williams (US) Tennis
Laureus World Team of the Year
China Olympic Table Tennis Team; European Ryder Cup Team; Miami Heat (US) Basketball; Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria); Spain Men’s Football Team; US Men’s Basketball Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yannick Agnel (France) Swimming; Gabby Douglas (US) Gymnastics; Kirani James (Grenada) Track and Field: Andy Murray (UK) Tennis; Neymar (Brazil) Football; Ye Shiwen (China) Swimming
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Track and Field; Ernie Els (South Africa) Golf; European Ryder Cup Team; Anna Meares (Australia) Cycling; Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) Track and Field; Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Rowing Team.
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Patrick Anderson (Canada) Wheelchair Basketball; Johanna Benson (Namibia) Track and Field; Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil) Swimming; Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Brazil) Track and Field; David Weir (United Kingdom) Wheelchair Racing; Alex Zanardi (Italy) Hand Cycling
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Felix Baumgartner (Austria) Skydiving; Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX; Julie Bresset (France) Mountain Biking; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Joel Parkinson (Australia) Surfing; Philip Köster (Germany) Windsurfing
For more detailed biographies of Nominees go to www.laureus.com
For more information about the Laureus World Sports Awards, visit: www.laureus.com/awards