Europe’s stunning Ryder Cup victory over the United States last September has led to José Maria Olazábal’s team being nominated for two major global decorations through the 2013 laureus World Sports Awards.
The event which has become universally recognised as the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ is shortlisted for both the Laureus Team and Comeback Awards when the glittering Awards Ceremony is held in the 2016 Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro on March 11.
The Ryder Cup Team, who produced a stirring performance in the singles to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, have been nominated alongside the Spanish football team who won Euro 2012; Red Bull, who won the Formula One World Constructors Championship; China’s Table Tennis Team and two basketball sides, Miami Heat and the US Men’s Olympic Team.
Olazábal’s heroes also received a second nomination for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, where they face competition from the same sport in none other than South African Ernie Els, who claimed his second Open Championship ten years after his first; Ethiopia’s 10,000 metres Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba; Australian cyclist Anna Meares; 400 metres hurdles gold medlalist Felix Sanches and Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Team.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2012, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.
The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony in Rio on March 11.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 100 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €55 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member and golf legend Gary Player said: “I thought the Olympic Games in London were wonderful. So many great performances by the big names who we expected to deliver and then so many surprises from great athletes like Tirunesh Dibaba, Felix Sanchez and Anna Meares.
“In my own sport of golf it was also an exceptional year for comebacks with Ernie Els showing that he is still a force to be reckoned with when he won the Open Championship and then that unbelievable final day at The Ryder Cup. I confess I did not think Europe could do it, but the determination that the team was sensational. Seve Ballesteros, who did so much to revive The Ryder Cup, would have been so proud of them.”