The votes are in and the world’s sports media have selected the highest achieving men, women and teams over the past calendar year as the Nominees for the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards, the world’s pre-eminent international sports awards.Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who won a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games, becomes the first Indian to receive a nomination in the history of Laureus World Sports Awards. The 24-year-old from Bhiwani district in Haryana made a sensational comeback after a long and testing battle with injury she sustained during the Quarter Finals of 50kg freestyle wrestling event at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Vinesh’s efforts have won her a nomination for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years. Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.
The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian Cricket Team and Pakistan Cricket Team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries. Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.