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Finalists for the 2009 Laureus Sports Awards have been announced

A glittering collection of the world’s greatest sports stars have been nominated for the 10th Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by the world’s media. Many of the nominations reflect the highly successful Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Beijing.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. A selection panel of the world’s leading sports editors, writers and broadcasters vote to create a shortlist of six nominations in each of seven categories: World Sportsman of the Year, World Sportswoman of the Year, World Team of the Year, World Breakthrough of the Year and World Comeback of the Year,World Sportsperson of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Among the major contests between Olympians for Laureus Awards which have been triggered by the votes of the media from 112 countries. Among 7 categories there is

Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

Among 6 nominees there is Matthias Steiner (No one can forget the moment in Beijing when Matthias Steiner climbed on to the rostrum to receive his super-heavyweight gold medal, clutching a picture of his wife Susann who died in a car crash a year earlier. They had planned that she would come to Beijing with him. Since the accident, Steiner had flung himself into his sport as if it was the only thing that could make life bearable and in his very last lift in the competition he triumphantly raised 258kg to take the gold medal. He said: “I managed to lift it because I had this strong, innermost urge.”)

Vitali Klitschko (Ukraine) – regained World Heavyweight Championship at 37 after four years out
Anna Meares (Australia) – won Olympic silver medal eight months after breaking neck in cycle crash
Greg Norman (Australia) – finished 3rd in British Open golf at the age of 53, while on his honeymoon
Matthias Steiner (Germany) – won weightlifting Olympic gold a year after his wife died in car crash
Maarten van der Weijden (Netherlands) – won Olympic swimming gold medal after beating leukaemia
Tiger Woods (US) – returned two months after serious knee injury to win US Open golf championship

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Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “This has been a great year for sport and the Academy are going to find it extremely difficult to decide who to vote for as winners. This is always the case in an Olympics year, but we have has some very strong performances from the non-Olympic sports. I congratulate all the nominees”.