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American Women Biles, Felix, Kim, Masters, Rapinoe, Shiffrin Headline Laureus Nominees

By Joanne C. Gerstner | Jan. 15, 2020, 10:54 a.m. (ET)

Allyson Felix competes at the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships on Sept. 29, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.


U.S. Olympic and Paralympic champions Simone Biles, Allyson Felix, Chloe Kim, Oksana Masters, Megan Rapinoe and Mikaela Shiffrin headline the nominees announced Wednesday for the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards.

The annual awards ceremony, honoring the best in sports from 2019, will be held Feb. 17 in Berlin at the Verti Music Hall.

The World Sportswoman of the Year category is loaded with U.S. stars, with sprinter Felix, soccer player Rapinoe, skier Shiffrin and gymnast Biles joining tennis player Naomi Osaka of Japan and Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Biles won the award in 2017 and 2019, while Felix and Shiffrin are multiple-time nominees. This is Rapinoe’s first time up for Sportswoman honors.

Rapinoe and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team are finalists for the World Team of the Year. They are the only women in the category, against the men’s teams of Liverpool FC (soccer), South Africa (rugby union), Spain (basketball), the 2019 NBA champion Toronto Raptors and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team.

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Freestyle swimmer Nathan Adrian, an eight-time U.S. Olympic medalist, had his comeback from testicular cancer recognized with a nomination for World Comeback of the Year. Adrian competed in the 2019 world championships, only seven months after his cancer diagnosis, and won two golds and a silver. Just prior to that, he claimed five medals at the Pan American Games Lima 2019.

Masters earned her third nomination for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, based on another dominant year in Nordic skiing. She won five gold medals and a silver at the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

Snowboarder Kim, the 2019 World Action Sportsperson of the Year, is again nominated for the award. American surfer Carissa Moore and skateboarder Nyjah Huston are also in the category. Both surfing and skateboarding will make their Olympic debuts later this year in Tokyo.

Other Americans nominated for awards are tennis player Coco Gauff, boxer Andy Ruiz Jr. and swimmer Regan Smith for Breakthrough of the Year, and golfer Tiger Woods for Sportsman and NBA star Kawhi Leonard for Comeback.

The finalists were determined by a global media panel voting from a list of nominations. The winners will be selected by a panel of 68 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Joanne C. Gerstner has covered two Olympic Games and writes regularly for the New York Times and other outlets about sports. She has written for TeamUSA.org since 2009 as a freelance contributor on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.


Related Athletes

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Simone Biles

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Allyson Felix

Track and Field
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Chloe Kim

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Oksana Masters

Nordic Skiing
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Megan Rapinoe

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Mikaela Shiffrin

Alpine Skiing