Madrid [Spain], February 8 (ANI): The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards, the most prestigious honours event in the sport, will take place in Madrid on April 22.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, the Mayor of Madrid, and Isabel Diaz Ayuso, President of the Madrid Region, along with Laureus Academy Members Raul Gonzalez and Alessandro Del Piero, at the Teatro Albeniz in the Spanish capital.
Many of the biggest names from the world of sport, past and present, will be in Madrid in April to honour the greatest sportsmen, sportswomen and teams from 2023. Each of the Winners will leave with a coveted Laureus Statuette, one of the most recognisable symbols of excellence in sport.
The Awards Ceremony will take place at the Palacio de Cibeles, a remarkable structure designed by the prolific architect partnership of Antonio Palacios and Joaquin Otamendi. It is one of Madrid's most iconic buildings.
This is the 25th year the Laureus World Sports Awards have been presented and where better than a Host Venue steeped in sporting greatness? The City and Region of Madrid is home to four La Liga football clubs and the World Rugby Sevens Series; the venue for the climax of cycling's Vuelta a Espana; host to the Madrid Open, one of the most sought-after clay court titles of the tennis year; to golf's Open de Espana; and to the Madrid Marathon.
In an exciting new development that confirms the stature of Madrid as a sporting superpower, the Formula One Gran Premio d'Espana will be staged in Madrid in 2026, at a new circuit built around the IFEMA Madrid exhibition centre in the Barajas district.
Madrid now takes over the Laureus torch from Paris, the city that hosted last year's Laureus World Sports Awards, where Winners included Lionel Messi, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Spain's brilliant young tennis star Carlos Alcaraz. Nominees for this year's Awards, in seven categories, will be announced on February 26.
The Laureus Awards will celebrate the most memorable sporting performances from last year; a year in which Madrid welcomed home the FIFA Women's World Cup winners after victory in Australia. The Spain team, led by Aitana Bonmati, lit up a tournament that was one of the highlights of an incredible year in sport.
Also in 2023, Novak Djokovic moved to the front of tennis's golden generation, only Alcaraz, in a thrilling Wimbledon final, keeping the world No.1 from a clean sweep of the four Grand Slams.
The World Athletics Championships featured showstopping performances from athletes such as Faith Kipyegon, Sha'Carri Richardson, Shericka Jackson, Mondo Duplantis and Noah Lyles. On the Formula One racetrack, Max Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing had a record-breaking season, securing both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships.
At the Rugby World Cup, Siya Kolisi recovered from injury to lead South Africa to rugby's pinnacle once more.
While this is the first time Madrid has hosted the Laureus World Sports Awards, it is the fifth time the event has been held in Spain, following Barcelona (2006, 2007) and Seville (2021 and 2022). Spain has seen notable success at the Laureus Awards - and the country is ranked third in the total number of Winners.
The Laureus World Sports Awards Show will also include the Laureus Sport for Good Award, which recognises an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to transforming the lives of children and young people through sport. As well as celebrating the very best in sport, Laureus is committed to showing what a difference sport can make in the world.
Madrid is an ideal place for anyone looking to participate in sports in a unique setting. The regional and local Government of Madrid works to improve the quality of life of its residents through sport. This is achieved via a close working relationship with the sporting federations of Madrid and there has been a marked increase over the years in the number of registered athletes. The objective is for sport to be available to everyone regardless of age and to become an integral part of all our lives.
The impact of the Awards is a key element to both the planning and delivery of the 2024 event. Working closely with both Host Partners, the Madrid City Council and the Regional Government of Madrid, Laureus will bring the expertise and support of Laureus Sport for Good to leave a lasting legacy for the young people of the city and region of Madrid. More information will also follow around opportunities for the people of Madrid to get involved in the 2024 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Raul Gonzalez Blanco is a Laureus World Sports Academy Member and captained his hometown team of Real Madrid for seven years during an iconic career. He said: "I can't wait to welcome the Laureus family, our 2024 Nominees and the world's media to Madrid for the 25th Laureus World Sports Awards. Since becoming an Academy Member in 2016, it has been an honour and an inspiration to be part of Laureus's work around the world. The hardest part is voting for these wonderful Awards - but our 2024 winners couldn't wish for a more beautiful and welcoming city in which to celebrate a memorable sporting year."Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid, said: "The Laureus Awards is an unbeatable opportunity for the City of Madrid because Madrid is one of the great world capitals of sport, both from the amateur point of view and from the point of view of professional sport and the staging of major world events. But just as important are the values represented by the Laureus Foundation: values of excellence, self-improvement, effort and sacrifice, with which a city like Madrid identifies."Isabel Diaz Ayuso, President of the Region of Madrid, said: "Laureus is a very important event, it's a sports event that all governments and countries welcome with great enthusiasm since it brings with it the magic of sport, of competition and of spectacle. It is also a very special invitation for children and young people and for all those who love sport."Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: "It's incredible to think that this will be the 25th Laureus World Sports Awards. Since I stood alongside our founding Patron Nelson Mandela and my fellow founding Academy Members in 2000, this event has become the greatest celebration of sport in the world. The Laureus stage has welcomed the greatest athletes of the 21st Century and it has also consistently amplified our message - that sport has the power to change the world. We are thrilled to be celebrating our 25th Awards in the beautiful, historic and truly global sporting location of Madrid."Italian football legend and Laureus Academy Member Alessandro Del Piero said: "I would like to thank Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, the Mayor of Madrid, and Isabel Diaz Ayuso, President of the Region of Madrid, for being with us and for the support of Madrid in becoming Host Venue for Laureus 2024. The Awards Ceremony is one of the most significant moments in world sport, where we honour the creme de la creme each year. I cannot think of anywhere better to be than Madrid - it is a city whose heartbeat is sport."Since its inception, Laureus has helped to improve the lives of more than six and a half million children and young adults, and now supports more than 300 sports-based community programmes around the world, fulfilling the visionary words of its founding Patron Nelson Mandela - 'Sport has the power to change the world'.
The Laureus Family spreads across every continent and is an inspirational, purpose-focused network of Laureus World Sports Academy Members, Ambassadors, sportsmen and women, teams, sports governing bodies, federations and followers from the public, all committed to supporting Sport for Good and spreading the movement's influence to a wider global audience.
The Awards Show, featuring presentations and related news stories, will be available to the world's media and broadcast extensively on Laureus' social media platforms.
The winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 69 Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the greatest athletes of today. (ANI)