Monaco: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held here on February 18. The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.
The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.
Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.
The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.
Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014.
However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award ceremony honouring individuals and teams from the world of sports along with sporting achievements throughout the year.
It was established in 1999 by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation founding patrons Daimler and Richemont and supported by its global partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen.
The awards support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which supports over 100 community projects in around 40 countries. These projects aim to use the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, and prove that sport has the power to change the world. The name “Laureus” is derived from the Greek word for laurel, considered a traditional symbol of victory in athletics.