Cameron Leslie nominated for Laureus Awards

New Zealand’s Para swimmer among six nominees for World Sportsperson with a Disability prize following his 2022 achievements 21 Feb 2023
A graphic announcing Cameron Leslie as Laureus Award nominee
The 33-year-old athlete was responsible for four out of five New Zealand's podiums at the Madeira 2022 World Championships
ⒸLaureus Awards 2023
By Laureus and World Para Swimming

New Zealand’s Cameron Leslie is the Para swimming representative among the six athletes who have been nominated for the 2023 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award. 

A dual sport athlete, Leslie was in strong form in 2022, a year after withdrawing from the swimming and wheelchair rugby competitions at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games due to family circumstances. 

The swimmer won four out of his country’s five medals at last year’s Para Swimming World Championships in Madeira, Portugal, including a gold in the men’s 100m freestyle S4. 

Just four months later, he served as co-captain of the New Zealand squad that made it to the quarterfinals of the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship in Denmark.

The 33-year-old is also the Disability and Para Swimming Participation Manager at Swimming New Zealand, aiming to make a difference with the next generation of athletes.

Born and raised in Whangarei, Leslie took up Para swimming aged 11. He is well-known in New Zealand for his Paralympic gold-medal-winning performances in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. 

The swimmer is only the second Para athlete from New Zealand nominated to the Laureus awards following his teammate Sophie Pascoe in 2014 and 2017.

Leslie is a nominee for World Sportsperson with a Disability alongside Swiss wheelchair racer Catherine Debrunner, US Para ice hockey player Declan Farmer, Dutch wheelchair tennis player Diede De Groot, Norway's Para alpine skier Jesper Saltvik Pedersen, and US Para Nordic skier and cyclist Oksana Masters.

The Laureus World Sports Academy announced the nominees on Monday, 20 February, with the winner set to be revealed at a special awards ceremony held in the European spring.

You can find more information about the 2023 Laureus Awards here