Rachel Atherton last night added another trophy to her collection, this time in the form of an ‘Action Sportsperson of the Year Award’ at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. The awards ceremony is a proper Oscars meets Grammys meets the United Nations of the sporting world, with prestigious guests from all over the world attending the event. Still need convincing of just how prestigious this affair is? Nelson Mandela spoke at the inaugural event in 2000. So, quite a big deal then. Laureus combines Laureus Sport for Good, the Laureus World Sports Academy and Ambassadors Programme and the Laureus World Sports Awards to form an organisation that seeks to use ‘the inspirational power of sport as a force for good’.
— Trek Factory DH (@TrekFactoryDH) February 14, 2017
After her perfect season, being unbeaten all year, she’s no doubt a worthy winner of this award, and the Laureus press release describes her ‘as the world’s greatest downhill mountain biker’. Note the absence of ‘female’ from that statement – she is simply ‘the greatest’. An athlete at the top of her game. What will 2017 bring, and will anyone get close?
Rachel was away at a training camp and unable to attend the glitzy event, so accepted her award with this video message – which means she missed out on this mass ‘To Di World’ pose with four time Laureus Sportsman of the Year winner Usain Bolt.
Ah well, maybe next year will be another perfect season, Rachel can win this award (and everything else) again, and join in the celebrity poses and selfies then?