Photo: Felix Sanchez Honored with Laureus Sports Award
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and British heptathlete Jessica Ennis took the honors as sportsman and sportswoman of 2012, respectively, at the Laureus Sports Awards gala in Rio de Janeiro.
It was Bolt’s third Laureus prize as sportsman of the year.
Laureus recognized the European Ryder Cup squad, captained by Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal, as best team on the strength of its win over the United States in last year’s competition.
Dominican Felix Sanchez, gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, received the award for comeback athlete of the year.
The prize for breakthrough athlete went to British tennis player Andy Murray, who won two golds in the London Games, while Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, winner of six golds at the 2012 Paralympics, was chosen as top athlete with a disability.
Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver who broke the speed of sound, received the award in the action sports category.
U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps’ record 22 Olympic medals - 18 gold, two silver and two bronze - earned him a special Laureus Academy award.
The Laureau lifetime achievement award was bestowed on former Olympian Sebastian Coe, who organized the 2012 London Games.