A large number of sporting greats were honored for their performance at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards, held in Berlin on Monday evening, and Sports emails photographer Andy Hooper had exclusive access behind the scenes to capture the glitzy ceremony in all its glory.
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton and football superstar Lionel Messi shared the Laureus Sportsman of the Year. Hamilton, 35, six-time world champion and Barcelona star Messi, 32, share the prize for their performance in 2019.
This is the first time a football player has won the prize and also the first time in the 20-year history of the event when the jury made a decision.
Lewis Hamilton was co-crowned Laureus Sportsman of the Year – a title won alongside Lionel Messi (who was not present)
Hamilton received the prestigious award from former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at the glitzy bash on Monday evening
In his speech, Hamilton acknowledged the responsibility of the world’s best sports stars to strive for more diversity
The six-time and current reigning F1 champion also vowed to continue to take the lead in the fight against climate change
LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS WINNERS 2020
SPORTSMAN: Lionel Messi and Lewis Hamilton
SPORT WOMEN: Simone Biles
COMING BACK: Sophia Floersch
TEAM: South Africa Rugby team men
SPORTY MOMENT: India Cricket Team men
BREAKTHROUGH: Egan Bernal
SPORTS PERSON WITH EXTENSION: Oksana Masters
ACTION SPORTPERSON: Chloe Kim
ACADEMY EXCEPTIONAL RESULT PRICE: Spanish basketball federation
SPORT FOR GOOD GRANT: South Bronx United
LIFETIME PERFORMANCE PRICE: Dirk Nowitzki
“I am honored to be the first to win this prize as a team player from a team sport,” said Messi from Barcelona via a video message.
Hamilton attending the event received his prize from former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
The Brit recognized the responsibility of the world’s best sports stars to strive for more diversity
“Our sport has very little to no diversity – it is a problem that we are constantly confronted with,” he said.
“It is all our responsibility to use our platforms for that: to really insist on gender equality, inclusiveness, to ensure that we are involved and represent where the world is today.”
The Mercedes driver also promised to continue to take the lead in the fight against climate change.
Hamilton sold his £ 25 million private jet last year and has stated that despite neutrations of hypocrisy he wanted to become carbon neutral while successfully pursuing a sixth world driving title.
“I am very aware of the impact we all have on the environment, which is such a major problem today,” he added.
“I’m starting to make changes and try to be part of the solution instead of the problem, and try to encourage other people to follow in my footsteps to build a better world.”
“We are in a very difficult and challenging time in which we put our future and the future of our children at risk because of what we do to the environment.”
Hamilton will match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles as he retains his crown in the new Formula 1 season starting in Australia next month.
The men’s rugby union team from South Africa was honored with Team of the Year after winning the Rugby World Cup
The Springboks, captain by Siya Kolisi (front), convincing England 32-12 swept aside in the showpiece in November
South Africa scrum half Faf de Klerk was a constant thorn in England, because South Africa won a third Rugby World Cup
Springboks Captain Kolisi confirms his knee brace on his injured left leg while his teammates enjoy a joke on the red carpet
South Africa defeated Liverpool and the US women’s football team at the Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony
The American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, who won five titles at the 2019 world championships in Stuttgart to leave her with a record of 25 gold medals in the world, won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year prize for the third time.
“It means the world to me, this is my third Laureus prize and I am really grateful,” Biles said in a video message.
South Africa, which won the Rugby World Cup 2019, was named Team of the Year and beat Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and the American women’s football team.
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was accompanied on stage by six South African teammates to collect the trophy.
“With this group of players we came together for the love of the game with one goal and we fought so hard for each other,” Kolisi told the audience in Berlin.
“We have given everything to win the trophy and hopefully inspire children for future generations.”
Sophia Floersch won the comeback of the year prize for racing again in the Macau Grand Prix last November
It came a year after a crash on the same circuit left the German Formula 3 driver with a vertebral fracture
Barcelona legend Carles Puyol was one of the sporting celebrities who attended Monday’s Berlin bash
Puyol’s former Barcelona team-mate Luis Figo walked the red carpet next to his wife and Swedish model Helen Svedin
AC Milan and Holland icon Ruud Gullit was another – with the charismatic 57-year-old in a jovial mood on the red carpet
Gullit, who led Chelsea in the 1990s, expresses himself behind the scenes of the Laureus World Sports Awards
The winner of Euro 1988 also takes a photo on the red carpet – while a series of sporting stars from past and present descended on Berlin
Former Arsenal manager Wenger was among the leading guests at the awards
Former England, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Juventus manager Fabio Capello speaks with other guests before the event starts
Liverpool legend Ian Rush traveled with his wife Tracey to Berlin when they posed for a photo behind a painting by Nelson Mandela
Snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim, 19, won the Action Sportsperson Award after winning gold medals on the half pipe of the world championship and the super pipe of X Games.
Oksana Masters, who was born with limb disorders caused by Chernobyl radiation and later adopted in the US, won the Sportsperson with a Disability Award.
The 30-year-old won five gold medals and one silver at the para nordic skiing world championships and also won the overall world cup title.
She also won silver medals in the road race and time trial H5 at the para cycling world championships.
Colombia, Egan Bernal, 22, who became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France 110 years, won the Breakthrough Award after winning the world’s best cycling race in what was only his second classic three-week event.
Boris Becker (center) won six Grand Slams during an illustrious career – including three Wimbledons in 1985, 1986 and 1989
After the tragic death of Kobe Bryant last month, a sign was set up for those who expressed their respect. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson was one of those who wrote about it. Bryant died in a helicopter crash with nine others in California – including his daughter Gianna.
Great British Olympic legends Jessica Ennis-Hill and Daley Thompson were also invited to the glitzy spectacle on Monday
“I am really happy, this is a great result for me in my career,” said the Colombian in a video.
German F3 driver Sophia Floersch won the Comeback of the Year prize for racing again at the Macau Grand Prix in November of last year, a year after a crash on the same circuit she had a spine fracture.
Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar won the public vote for the top sport moment of the past 20 years for leading his country to the victory at the 2011 World Cup in the sixth attempt.
The German basketball star Dirk Nowitzki was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tanni Gray-Thompson, who won 11 Paralympic gold medals between 1992 and 2004, is interviewed by Gethin Jones
Former Great Britain track cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendelton (right) dressed elegantly for the annual event
Former rugby union captain Brian O’Driscoll from Ireland was wearing a completely black outfit offset by white sneakers
Oksana Masters, born with limb disorders caused by Chernobyl radiation, won the Sportsperson with a Disability Award
Team GB skateboarder Sky Brown (center) greets a friend on the red carpet just before the prestigious ceremony starts
The 11-year-old born in Japan can become the youngest gold medal winner ever at Tokyo 2020 this summer
Guests young and old mingled behind the scenes in Berlin – including skateboarding legend Tony Hawks (center right)
Sporting superstars such as Boris Becker, Ruud Gullit, Arsene Wenger and Carles Puyol were all present for the star-studded celebration.
The categories included in the prizes were World Action Sportsperson Of the Year, World Sportswoman Of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Sporting Moment of the Year, World Breakthrough Of The Year, World Comeback Of the Year, World Sportsman Of The Year, World Sportsperson Of the year with a disability, World Team of the year, Sport For Good Award and Exceptional Achievement Award.
The awards, established in 1999, recognize people and teams from the sports world and their sporting achievements throughout the year, supporting the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which advocates more than 160 community projects in more than 40 countries around the world.
The organization tries to use the power of sport to put an end to violence, discrimination and backwardness and to prove that sport has the power to change the world.
After Sharon Stone’s withdrawal, British actor Hugh Grant came in too late to present the award ceremony
Formula 1 Hamilton listens to production staff before sharing the Sportsman of the Year with Messi
The British sports presenter Amanda Davies prepares for the podium before the prizes are awarded
Ukrainian-American Paralympic rower and cross-country skier Masters sings the wall during the event in Berlin