Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the women's singles final against Venus Williams at the 2017 Australian Open on Jan. 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.
The names of Team USA athletes are found all over this year’s list of nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards, particularly in the category of sportswoman of the year.
Four of the six nominees for the award are U.S. Olympic medalists who continue to dominate in their respective sports. They are: sprinter Allyson Felix, swimmer Katie Ledecky, tennis player Serena Williams and alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin. They are joined on the list by track athlete Caster Semenya from South Africa, and tennis player Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain.
Also nominated are swimmer Caeleb Dressel for breakthrough of the year, track star Justin Gatlin for comeback of the year and multi-sport Paralympian Oksana Masters for sportsperson of the year with a disability.
Additionally, Olympians Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson were nominated in the team category along with the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors team that won the NBA title, as was 2016 Olympic rugby player Nate Ebner with the New England Patriots.
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Williams, who has four Olympic gold medals, was nominated for a record 11th time since the awards’ inception in 2000 and, should she win, would be the first woman to be honored five times. She won her 23rd Grand Slam title in 2017 with her seventh Australian Open victory before sitting out the remainder of the season to give birth to her first child.
Nine-time Olympic medalist Felix won two golds and one bronze medal at the world championships, bringing her career total to 16 and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the world championships.
Six-time Olympic medalist Ledecky won five golds and one silver medal at the 2017 swimming world championships, and Olympic gold medalist Shiffrin won her fourth world cup slalom title and first overall world cup title, plus her third straight world championship gold in slalom and first silver in giant slalom.
Dressel, who won two gold medals in his 2016 Olympic debut, became the first swimmer to win three gold medals in one day at the world championships and finished the meet with a record-tying seven gold medals total.
Gatlin, a three-time Olympian and five-time medalist, won gold in the 100-meter at the world championships, beating Usain Bolt in the process.
Three-time Paralympian Masters won five world championship medals in cross-country skiing and biathlon, including four golds, in addition to 17 medals, 10 of them gold, during the world cup season.
The nominees are voted on by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy and winners will be announced on Feb. 27.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.