BBLADE RUNNER Oscar Pistorius will discover in a few weeks if he is also a Laureus World Sports Awards winner. This year’s awards ceremony is being held at Central Hall, Westminster, on 6 February, and Pistorius is nominated for both the Laureus Disability and Breakthrough Awards.
In South Korea in August, Pistorius, who was born without fibulae and now runs on carbon fibre blades, became the first amputee to win a non-disabled World Championship track medal, as a member of the South African silver medal-winning 4x400m relay team.
The Laureus Award is one of the most prestigious in Paralympic sport and Pistorius said: “Being nominated is extremely important to me. I’ve been to the Laureus Awards and seen the scale that it’s held on and it’s just a completely amazing experience.”
The winners are chosen by the 47 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which includes global stars such as Boris Becker, Sebastian Coe, Sean Fitzpatrick, Marvin Hagler, Martina Navratilova and Gary Player.
WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS
FANCY rubbing shoulders with the very biggest names from the world of sport at next month’s glitzy ceremony in London? Of course you do. Well you’re in luck, because City A.M. has a pair of tickets to the Laureus World Sports Awards at Central Hall, Westminster, on 6 February – and the exclusive aftershow party – to give away to a lucky reader. Just keep watching these pages for full details of how to win this money-can’t-buy prize in the coming weeks.
Daniel Dias’ last big event on the road to this summer’s London Paralympics was the 2011 Parapan American Games in Mexico, where he swam to first place in all his events to come away with 11 gold medals, setting Games records in seven of them. Born with malformed upper and lower limbs, he won the Laureus Disability Award in 2009.
Terezinha Guilhermina, who is visually impaired and runs all her races with a guide, is currently the world-record holder in the 100m, 200m and 400m T11 sprints. At the IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand, she won four gold medals and, in the 200m, ran a time of 24.98 seconds to break a world record that had stood for 10 years.
(South Africa) Athletics
Known as the ‘Blade Runner’, Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to win a non-disabled World Championship track medal, as a member of the South African silver medal winning 4x400m relay team in Daegu last year – and also reached the semi-finals of the individual 400m. Born without the fibula in his legs, he runs with distinctive carbon fibre ‘blades’.
(Holland) Wheelchair Tennis
The greatest ever wheelchair tennis player, this is the sixth time Esther Vergeer has been nominated for the Laureus Disability Award, which she won in 2002 and 2008. Esther has not lost a singles wheelchair tennis match since January 2003. Now 29, she was paralysed in 1990 after undergoing surgery for a spinal defect and brain haemorrhage.
(Great Britain) Wheelchair Athletics
David Weir is one of Britain’s best hopes for a home gold medal at London 2012. Since his first Paralympics in 2004, he has won six medals, including two gold, six world titles and five London Marathons. At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships he won gold medals in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m T54 wheelchair events.
(Russia) Nordic Skiing
Cross-country and biathlon skier Irek Zaripov won six medals, including three gold, at the 2011 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships. Now 28, he only started skiing competitively in 2005, when his parents persuaded him to take up sport. He had lost both legs when he was involved in a motorcycle accident when he was just 17.