Swiss wheelchair racer Marcel Hug won the prestigious 2018 Laureus World Sports Award in the category World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, during a glittering ceremony on Tuesday (27 February) in Monaco.
The accolade is given to the person who best demonstrates excellent athletic achievement and strong leadership qualities in a sport in the Paralympic programme. Hug was among five other oustanding Para athletes nominated for the honour, and joined 11 award recipients during the ceremony.
The wheelchair racer won world titles over 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m in the highly competitive T54 class at London 2017. He also won World Marathon Majors races in Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York.
To win the award, Hug beat out a strong nomination pool that consisted of Japanese wheelchair tennis multi-Grand Slam winner Yui Kamiji; US Nordic skiing world champion and overall World Cup winner Oksana Masters; Dutch Para snowboard pioneer and cancer survivor Bibian Mentel-Spee; Dutch dual-sport athlete and Ironman world champion Jetze Plat; and German long-jump Paralympic and world champion Markus Rehm.
The 19th Laureus World Sports Awards recognises sporting achievement during the calendar year 2017. It is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners were voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy.
The other winners of the night were:
• Sportsman of the Year: Roger Federer
• Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
• Comeback of the Year: Roger Federer
• Team of the Year: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
• Breakthrough of the Year: Sergio Garcia
• Action Sportsperson of the Year: Armel Le Cleac’h
• Sporting Inspiration: J.J. Watt
• Sport for Good: Active Communities Network
• Best Sporting Moment of the Year: Eternal Champions (Chapecoense)
• Exceptional Achievement Award: Francesco Totti
• Lifetime Achievement Award: Edwin Moses