PARIS—Lionel Messi has won a top accolade as world Sportsman of the Year and picked up another award as a member of the team of the year following Argentina’s World Cup soccer victory in 2022.
Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finally broke through to win the Sportswoman of the Year award on her sixth nomination.
Fraser-Pryce’s 2022 exploits included winning the 100-meter gold at the World Athletics Championships for the fifth time.
The Laureus Sports Awards honoring eight winners were held live in Paris on Monday night for the first time since 2020.
It was Messi’s second individual title after sharing that honor with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton in 2020.
Fraser-Pryce, who has won three Olympic and 10 world championship gold medals, called her award “one of the greatest honors of my career.”
“When athletes have the spotlight, it’s important the example we set is the best it can be . . . we have a responsibility to influence the next generation in a positive way,” she said.
Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz’s victory at the 2022 U.S. Open and his rise to the No. 1 ranking saw him take the Breakthrough of the Year award. Alcaraz, who celebrated his 20th birthday last week, won Sunday’s final of the Madrid Open.
Christian Eriksen was the recipient of the Comeback of the Year award after recovering from a cardiac arrest to return to Premier League football with Brentford and then Manchester United.
The world Action Sportsperson of the Year went to American-born Chinese freestyler skier Eileen Gu, who was 18 during the Winter Olympics in Beijing. She became the first athlete to win three medals in freestyle skiing at a single Olympics — gold in both the halfpipe and big air events, and silver in slopestyle.
Nominees for the Laureus awards are determined by international media and the winners are voted on by the 71 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy – athletes from the past 50 years.
Image credits: AP