Four-time Formula 1 champions Sabastian Vettel has been named Laureus Sportsman of the Year.
Red Bull’s Vettel, 26, dominated the motor racing sport in 2013, winning 13 of 19 Formula 1 races, including the last nine. The Heppenheim-born champion beat athletes Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, Portuuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, American basketball player LeBron ‘king’ James and tennis player rafale Nadal.
“It’s a big honour. It’s one of the most special trophies I have received. How tough the year before with my injury? I never thought I would have the chance to come back as I did so for that reason this Laureus means more,” he said in a recorded message.
Bundesliga champions elect Bayern Munich completed a German double after being chosen as the World Team of the Year, following last season’s treble in the German championship, Champions League and the German Cup.
American swimming sensation and four-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin was named the Sportswoman of the Year in a ceremony filled with tributes to those affected by the missing Malaysian Airlines plane in Kuala Lumpur.
Franklin, 18, beat American tennis player Serena Williams and Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to the prize, in recognition of her stunning efforts in the pool in 2013 when she became the first woman to win six golds at a single world Championships in Barcelona in August.
MotoGP champion Marc Marquez took the Breakthrough of the Year prize after taking the title in his rookie season.
Marie Bochet, the French paralympic skier, was named sportsperson of the year with a disability, with Jamie Bestwick named World Action Sportsperson of the Year.
The Laureus Academy features 46 sporting greats including former world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, who handed him the award. Spaniard Nadal completed a hat-trick of Laureus awards after he took the Comeback of the Year prize after bouncing back from a seven-month absence to win the 2013 French and U.S. Opens as well as five ATP Masters titles.