Laureus World Sports Awards 2017: Usain Bolt, Simone Biles Among Winners

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2017

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20:  Gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 4 x 100 meter Relay on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Usain Bolt was crowned as the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a fourth time on Tuesday in Monaco.

The Jamaican sprinter secured the accolade ahead of a star-studded list of nominees, including world tennis No. 1 Andy Murray, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

Elsewhere, United States gymnast Simone Biles won the Sportswoman of the Year gong, beating British cyclist Laura Kenny, swimming sensation Katie Ledecky and track star Allyson Felix.

The event's official Twitter feed confirmed the winners of the two prestigious individual accolades:

Surprise Premier League champions Leicester City were also recognised, as they picked up the Spirit of Sport prize, as were World Series winners Chicago Cubs, who secured the World Team of the Year award.

Here are all the winners from a memorable night in Monaco:

2017 Laureus Sport Awards Winners
Sportsman of the YearUsain Bolt (Athletics)
Sportswoman of the YearSimone Biles (Gymnastics)
Comeback of the YearMichael Phelps (Swimming)
Team of the YearChicago Cubs (Baseball)
Spirit of SportLeicester City (Soccer)
Action Sportsperson of the YearRachel Atherton (BMX)
Sportsperson of the Year with a DisabilityBeatrice Vio (Fencing)

Having been confirmed as a four-time winner of the prize—a haul that only Roger Federer can match—it didn’t take long for Bolt to take to social media:

As he so often does, Bolt seized the spotlight on the biggest stage in the summer, cementing his reputation as the finest sprinter of all time and one of the most vibrant characters in the history of sport.

Ahead of 100-metre Olympic final, the rivalry between the Jamaican and American Justin Gatlin was widely discussed. But just as he did the year before at the World Championships, Bolt proved too strong for his opponent, clinching gold in a time of 9.81 seconds.

Bolt dominated the sprint events in Rio.
Bolt dominated the sprint events in Rio.JOHN MACDOUGALL/Getty Images

The 200-metre final, his preferred event, also yielded gold, while he also helped Jamaica to a win in the 4x100-metre relay. It completed a “triple-triple” for Bolt, as he'd previously won all three events at the previous two Olympics.

While Jamaica have subsequently been stripped of their relay title after Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance, Bolt is undoubtedly a deserving champion.

Although the nominees in the women’s category have all enjoyed enormous success as of late, Biles was the outstanding candidate.

The pint-sized gymnast delighted the watching world with her gymnastic displays in Rio de Janeiro. At the Games, Biles won four gold medals and a bronze, asserting her status as the outstanding competitor in her sport.

Biles thrilled at the summer Games.
Biles thrilled at the summer Games.TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/Getty Images

Per Ed Malyon of The Independent, Biles' displays not only earned her a quartet of gold medals, but stimulated the casual fan’s interest in gymnastics:

As relayed by the event’s official Twitter feed, after receiving the award, Biles paid tribute to former world heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3, 2016:

Another incredible Olympic feat was honoured on Tuesday too, with United States swimmer Michael Phelps being honoured with the Comeback of the Year Award.

Having decided to hang up his swimsuit after the 2012 Games, Phelps came out of retirement to compete in the 2016 edition. Naturally, he didn’t disappoint, winning five golds—taking his overall tally to a whopping 23—and a silver in the pool.

Here’s the moment his win was confirmed:

Aside from the incredible accomplishments of individuals, Laureus also honoured some wonderful team achievements.

The Team of Year was confirmed as the Chicago Cubs, who dramatically won the baseball World Series in 2016. The Cubs battled back from 3-1 down in the best-of-seven final against the Cleveland Indians to win 4-3 overall; in doing so, they were crowned as world champions for the first time in 108 years.

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years.  (Ph
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Leicester’s sensational Premier League triumph saw them pick up a deserved gong too, with manager Claudio Ranieri in attendance.

The Foxes were tipped for relegation by plenty at the start of the 2015-16 campaign. But inspired by the goalscoring of Jamie Vardy, the wing wizardry of Riyad Mahrez and the forceful midfield play of N’Golo Kante, they bettered the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City to finish top of the pile.


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