All Blacks, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Dan Carter winners at the prestigious Laureus Sport Awards
The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award ceremony honoring remarkable individuals from the world of sports along with the greatest sporting achievements throughout the year.
The All Blacks have won the world team of the year award at the Laureus Sports Awards, a second prestigious gong for the World Cup-winning team at the glitzy ceremony.
It was the sixth time the All Blacks have been nominated for the prestigious world sport award, but was their first win.
Becoming the first team to win back-to-back World Cups, and the first All Blacks side to secure the trophy away from home, proved irresistible to the Laureus academy, made up of some sporting legends.
The All Blacks beat some hugely successful teams for their awards, including the Golden State Warriors (NBA champions) and Spanish football giants FC Barcelona.
Prince Harry announces Dan Carter as comeback athlete of the year via video link.
Dan Carter won the comeback athlete of the year award.
Carter received his individual award for his key role in the triumph in England last year.
Carter, battling injuries and a form dip, was back to his very best by the end of the tournament.
He produced some stunning form during the World Cup playoffs, culminating in a man-of-the-match effort in the final win over the Wallabies at Twickenham.
Dan Carter’s pre-recorded acceptance speech was played on the big screen.
Other finalists for the award presented at a glitzy ceremony in Berlin, Germany, were swimming legend Michael Phelps, surfer Mick Fanning, skiier Lindsay Vonn and heptathlete Jessica Ennis Hill.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw collected the award on behalf of Carter who remained in Paris to rehab a knee injury as his career continues with French club Racing 92.
“It’s a privilege to receive such a prestigious award,” Carter said via video message.
“It was a very special year for me in 2015, especially after the injury setbacks I’ve had over the last couple of years. I’d like to say a huge thank you to friends, family, management and team-mates for showing faith in me and allowing me to live my dream.”
Carter’s World Cup efforts have gained rich reward. He was named World Rugby’s player of the year, won the overseas player of the year in Britain’s annual BBC Awards, and was named overseas personality of the year by Britain’s rugby writers association.
McCaw and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen collected the award presented by Germany’s World Cup-winning football coach Joachim Loew.
McCaw felt the double triumph was a victory for his sport, so often overshadowed by codes with bigger global playing numbers.
“People say rugby’s a big sport for us but not so big on a global scale, but it’s obviously big enough where the exploits of what the All Blacks do are recognised,” McCaw said in his acceptance speech.
“The success rate we have is pretty hard to compare to other teams around the world and I think that’s something that’s been recognised and something that we hold pretty strong.”
McCaw also added a personal perspective to the achievement.
“The fact you’re recognised alongside teams like Barcelona is pretty cool,” McCaw said.
And when I was in America, when I had time off in 2013, I went to watch an NBA game. It was the Golden State Warriors versus the New York Knicks and [Stephen] Curry scored 50-something points on his own.
“Then a couple of years later you see him dominate and win the NBA, so it’s pretty surreal really to be mixing alongside some of these superstars.”
The All Blacks were named team of the year by World Rugby and won the team of the year title and the supreme title at the New Zealand’s Halberg Awards.
Winners in the categories were:
Breakthrough of the Year: Jordan Spieth (USA), golf.
Comeback of the Year: Dan Carter (New Zealand), rugby.
Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Daniel Dias (Brazil), swimming.
Action Sportsperson of the Year: Jan Frodeno (Germany), ironman.
Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams (USA), tennis.
Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic (Serbia), tennis.
Team of the Year: All Blacks (New Zealand), rugby.
Spirit of Sport: Johan Cruyff (Netherlands), football.