Sprinter Usain Bolt beat the likes of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and NBA basketballer LeBron James to win the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award for a record-equalling fourth time. Gymnast Simone Biles bagged the Sportswoman of the Year honour at a glittering ceremony in Monaco.
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt, who earlier won the award in 2009, 2010 and 2013, thereby joined tennis legends Roger Federer and Serena Williams and surfer Kelly Slater as a four-time Laureus award winner. Bolt received the trophy from legendary sprinter Michael Johnson.
"Thanks for the wonderful award. Laureus is one of the biggest awards for me. This is my 4th award and to be equalling it with someone like Roger Federer is great. I am in great company. It is special," Jamaica's Bolt said.
Olympic gymnastics champion Biles won four gold medals at a bronze at the Rio Games last year while Michael Phelps bagged the Comeback of the Year prize for his return to competitive swimming at the Rio Games where he won five more gold medals and a silver. Phelps had retired from swimming after 2012 London Olympics.
"Looking back at my career today, I can say that Rio was my greatest race," said Phelps.
F1 driver Nico Rosberg was awarded the Breakthrough of the Year award for winning the 2016 drivers' championship after finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2015.
"I am really happy to have won the 'Oscar of Sports'. The last two laps in Abu Dhabi, I didn't know if my life's dream was coming true. That stands second behind my wife giving birth to our girl," Rosberg said.after winning the award.
In other categories, Italy's Beatrice Vio, the only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing, got the disability award, and the Olympic refugee team, led by Tegla Loroupe, won the Laureus Sport for
Chicago Cubs won the Team of the Year award for winning their first Major League Baseball World Series victory for 108 years while the Barcelona U-12 team won the best Sporting Moment of the Year for the sportsman spirit they displayed at the Junior Soccer World Challenge in Tokyo. After beating Japanese club Omiya Ardija Junior 1-0, the Barcelona kids went and consoled the rival players.