A host of athletes were celebrated last night in Rio de Janeiro at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards, including tennis star Andy Murray and Athlete Jessica Ennis.
Ennis, who catapulted to heptathlon gold at last summer’s London 2012 Olympics with a haul of 6,955 points and captured the hearts of everyone watching whilst doing so, was named Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year at the Theatro Municipal.
Andy Murray received the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award following a superb summer which included Olympic gold in the mens singles, silver in the doubles and his first ever Grand Slam whn he claimed victory in the US Open in September.
Rio is set to host the next Olympic games in 2016, and Ennis spoke of what it was like to compete in her home Country and what she expects the Brazil games to be like.
“Not every athlete gets to experience that, so I do feel lucky to have had that opportunity,” Ennis said.
“I don’t think I’ll have that kind of pressure again. It was a good experience, everything went well, and I’m sure it will be completely different for Rio.
“I think [Rio 2016] will be incredible – that amazing carnival feel, and obviously the weather is great. I think it will be pretty spectacular.”
US Open champ and World number three, Murray was quick to heap praise upon team GB and the fans for the inspiration it had on his game.
“It was an amazing year – my first grand slam in New York and two medals at the Olympics in my home country,” Murray said. “I would have taken that at the start of the year, that’s for sure.
“The British team had such a great Olympics and I watched loads of medals being won by the British athletes. I think I was motivated by that. The support the whole British team received during the Olympics was incredible.
“Winning an award like this will definitely make me more determined to come back and do better next year.”
There was also a very special award for the Chairman of the London 2012 organising committee Lord Coe, as he won the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award.
Elsewhere the worlds fastest man, Usain Bolt won World Sportsman of the Year for a third time after his three gold medals in London whilst swimmer Michael Phelps was awarded the Exceptional Achievement Award.