Two-time Paralympic champion Oksana Masters was one of the big winners of the 2020 Laureus World Sports Award during a star-studded ceremony in Berlin, Germany, on Monday.
The US Nordic skier and cyclist was named Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
Masters had a superb 2019, winning five gold medals and a silver at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, plus the cross-country overall World Cup title. She also won silver medals in the road race and time trial H5 at the Para Cycling Road World Championships.
“This award is amazingly beautiful. Thank you so much to the Laureus Academy for this incredible recognition. I just want to say congratulations to all the nominees,” said Masters.
“Thank you to US Para Nordic and US Para Cycling for allowing me to balance two sports and represent two teams that I love. Thank you to Team USA and USOPC.
“Thank you so much to the number 1 person in my entire life: mom, thank you for being here. Thank you so much for saving me, giving me a second opportunity in life and opening the doors of sports and waiting for me until I was ready to walk through that door.
“Thank you so much to my boyfriend Aaron Pike.
“To any girl of boy, no matter what age, if you guys look different or think you look different, never let society determine what you see when you look in the mirror or the preconceived notions of what they think it is possible. Go for it!”
British swimmer Alice Tai, Dutch wheelchair tennis player Diede de Groot, Dutch cyclist and triathlete Jetze Plat, Swiss wheelchair racer Manuela Schaer and Cuban sprinter Omara Durand were also shortlisted.
The other winners were:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles
Laureus World Team of the Year: South Africa Men’s Rugby Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Egan Bernal
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Sophia Flörsch
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim
Laureus Best Sporting Moment: ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar
Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Dirk Nowitzki
Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Spanish Basketball Federation
Laureus Sport for Good Award: South Bronx United