20. February 2019  
Monte Carlo, MON  
Artistic Gymnastics

Biles wins 2019 ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ at Laureus World Sports Awards

* fig-news--: The tiny Texan nabbed the honour on Monday evening at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monte Carlo (MCO), two years after she became the first gymnast to ever receive the award. Biles beat out tennis players Simona Halep (ROU) and Angelique Kerber (GER), snowboarder/skier Ester Ledecká (CZE), Ironman triathlete Daniela Ryf (SUI), and skier Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), who were all nominated last month for their dominance in 2018.

Biles was unable to attend the black-tie event this year in person as it conflicted with her own Biles Invitational competition, held 14-17 February. She delivered her acceptance speech through a prerecorded video message from her gym, World Champions Centre.
“Hey guys, I’m so sorry I could not be there tonight,” she said, clutching her Laureus trophy. “I’m hosting my own invitational here in Houston to inspire the next generation of athletes. Hopefully one day they can receive one of these too. It’s such an honour to receive the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, so thank you guys and have a great night.”
After dominating the Gymnastics world in 2013-16, the five-time Olympic medallist took a well-deserved break before regrouping with new coaches. She returned in 2018 looking better than ever, with an even more impressive arsenal of skills, including a thrilling new vault that was named after her. At last fall’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha (QAT), she became the first female gymnast to capture four World All-around titles. Winning a maximum six medals, Biles became the first gymnast, male or female, to win a medal in every event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 31 years.

Biles’s record-breaking return in 2018 increased haul of World titles to 14, knocking 12-time world champion Vitaly Scherbo (USSR/BLR) out of the top spot.
She also swept the U.S. national championships in August, winning the All-around title and all four event titles, something no American had accomplished since 1994.

Biles is the only gymnast, male or female, to have been nominated for Sportsman or Sportswoman of the year since the inaugural event in 2000. With her second win on Monday, she is tied with pole vaulting legend Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS) with two victories each. Only American tennis player Serena Williams, the four-time winner, has more World Sportswoman of the Year trophies.Biles is scheduled to return to competition on Sunday, 17 March, at the FIG Individual All-around World Cup in Stuttgart (GER).
* source: f i g