Aquatics honoured at the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards
South African open water swimmer Natalie du Toit, who is breaking down the barriers between disabled and able-bodied sport, recently received the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award, in a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi (UAE).
A delighted Natalie said: "It is a great honour to be receiving this prestigious Award. It is the third time that I've been to the Laureus Awards and the second time that I've been nominated. In 2010 we will be holding the soccer World Cup, and to hold South Africa's name high is very special for me. Being a Friend & Ambassador for Laureus makes it very special for me to see what sport can do, how sports people can go into communities and really uplift them. I've seen those community projects, so to Laureus 'well done'."
Natalie du Toit (RSA)
Laureus World Sports Academy Member and Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson said: "I am delighted that my fellow Academy Members voted for Natalie. What she has achieved over the last decade has been amazing. Natalie is a fantastic ambassador for her sport and as one of only two people to have competed in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a remarkable athlete. She has shown determination and courage throughout her career and fully deserves this Award."
Natalie du Toit (RSA)
Besides Du Toit, Swimming was also in evidence in the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, with two FINA stars being nominated for this category: Italy’s Federica Pellegrini and Germany’s Britta Steffen. The winner was US tennis star Serena Williams. Finally, in Diving, young prodigy Tom Daley (GBR) was a nominee for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year, with the victory going to Jenson Button (GBR), formula 1 driver.
The Laureus World Sports Awards are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar, with the winners being chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. The living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. Among the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy present in Abu Dhabi were Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Nadia Comaneci, Kapil Dev, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Mika Hakkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Kip Keino, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Alexey Nemov, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Monica Seles, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba and Steve Waugh.
Tom Daley (GBR)