MONACO– There’s just no stopping Usain Bolt and Simone Biles as the two athletes who dominated last year’s Rio Olympics were triumphant again at the ‘Oscars of Sport’ in Monaco Tuesday.
Jamaica’s Bolt, the only man to win all three sprint events at three Olympic Games, won a record-equaling fourth Laureus World Sport award after being named Sportsman of the Year.
Tennis players Roger Federer and Serena Williams, and surfer Kelly Slater, are the only other athletes to receive four Laureus awards.
American teenager Biles, the first woman to win four gymnastics golds in a single Olympic Games, was Laureus Sportswoman of the Year.
“I still don’t recognize myself (in the same company as these great athletes),” the 19-year-old, who has taken a year’s sabbatical following her Rio success, told CNN Sport.
“I’m fine with the time off. I’ll begin training for Tokyo 2020 at the end of this year, the beginning of next year.”
Another American, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, won Comeback of the Year.
The 31-year-old won five gold medals in Rio after ending his retirement to compete in the pool in Brazil.
Reigning Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg, 31, took the Breakthrough of the Year award.
The German surprised the sporting world when he announced his retirement just five days after winning his first world title in November.
Elsewhere, Italy’s Beatrice Vio — the only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing — won the Disability Award, while the Olympic Refugee Team received the Laureus Sport for Good Award for Sporting Inspiration.
The Refugee Team was formed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Olympics in Rio to “act as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide”.
The team consisted of 10 athletes competing in three sports. Half were refugees from South Sudan, two fled Syria, two left the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one was originally from Ethiopia.