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Red Sox nominated for Laureus World Sports Award05/10/2005 11:57 AM ET
Boston Red Sox
ESTORIL -- World Series winners Boston Red Sox have just six days to wait to discover if they have won the prestigious Laureus World Team of the Year Award. The winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards will be announced at the Casino Estoril on the evening of Monday, May 16 in front of a worldwide TV audience of 460 million.
The Boston Red Sox victory in the World Series for the first time in 86 years was probably the most emotional sporting achievement of 2004, and ended one of sport's most enduring 'curses'. From the day when Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, they had never won the World Series. Four times the Red Sox have reached the World Series and four times they have lost.
On their way to the World Series, the Red Sox engineered the greatest comeback in baseball, and perhaps sports history when they won four straight games against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. It was a baseball epic. Having lost the first three games of the play-off, the Red Sox had to win all the remaining four, and they created history by doing just that.
Also nominated for Laureus World Team of the Year are the Argentina Men's Basketball Team, winners of the gold medal in Athens, the European Ryder Cup Team, Portugal's FC Porto, winner of soccer's European Champions League, Ferrari, winners of their sixth consecutive Formula One Constructors World Championship and Greece, who won the 2004 European Soccer Championship.
Other American nominees include Olympic swimming hero Michael Phelps, who won six gold and two bronze medals in Athens, and Lance Armstrong, six-times winner of the Tour de France, golfer John Daly, wheelchair racer Cheri Blauwet, who won 800 metres gold in Athens as well as the Los Angeles and Boston Marathons, wakeboarder Dallas Friday and extreme skiing champion Shane McConkey.
Nominated for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year is phenomenal youngster Michael Phelps, aged 19, took over from Ian Thorpe as the No 1 swimmer in the world after one of the greatest Olympic performances of all time in Athens. If Michael Phelps had been a country, he would have finished higher in the medals table than Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden. He narrowly failed to emulate the achievement of Laureus World Sports Academy member Mark Spitz who won seven gold medals in Munich 32 years ago.
Phelps greatest moment in Athens may have come out of the pool. Though he had qualified for the 4 x 100 metres medley relay final, he gave up his swim to teammate Ian Crocker as it was Crocker's last chance to win a gold. Crocker was nearly speechless with admiration when he learned the news. Phelps was in the stands cheering loudly as the Americans cruised to victory. Despite not swimming, Phelps was awarded his sixth gold for having swum in the heats.
Already twice winner of Laureus World Sports Awards, Lance Armstrong, six-times winner of the Tour de France, is also nominated in the same category as Phelps. He has recently announced that he will be challenging for a seventh Tour de France in 2005. His achievement is all the more remarkable as in October 1996 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had spread to his brain and lungs. Despite doctors only giving him a 40% chance of recovery, with successful surgery and chemotherapy, Armstrong was pronounced healthy in February of 1997 and returned to racing in 1998.
In one of the strongest Laureus World Sportsman of the Year categories ever, Phelps and Armstrong will be taking on Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj, winner of the Olympic 1,500 and 5,000 metres, Switzerland's Roger Federer, winner of three Grand Slam tennis events in 2004, Germany's Michael Schumacher, winner of his seventh Formula One World Championship and Italy's Valentino Rossi, winner of his fourth World MotoGP Championship.
John Daly, after nearly a decade of personal torment in which he battled alcohol, weight problems and had three divorces, won again on the US PGA Tour in 2004. His sudden death victory in the Buick Invitational in February won him $864,000 - more than any single-season total during his career. In the Laureus World Comeback of the Year category, also nominated are Japan's Tadahiro Nomura who returned after retirement to win his record third judo gold medal in Athens, Britain's Paula Radcliffe, who won the New York Marathon after dropping out of the Marathon and 10,000 metres in Athens, Australian cricketer Shane Warne, who created a new Test bowling record after returning following a one-year drug ban, Italy's courageous Alessandro Zanardi, who made a full return to motor racing after losing both legs in an horrific crash, and the England Cricket Team, who created a record eight match winning sequence after many years of under-achievement.
Cheri Blauwet, from Larchwood, Iowa, who became paraplegic as the result of a farm accident and took up wheelchair racing at high school, has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award after winning the Los Angeles Marathon in March, the Boston Marathon in April, and the 800 metres gold medal and bronze medals in the 5,000 metres and the Marathon in the Athens Paralympics.
The Athens Paralympics dominate the nominations in this category, which include Swedish shooter Jonas Jacobsson, who won four gold medals in Athens, British dressage rider Lee Pearson, who won three gold medals for the second successive Paralympic Games, Canada's Chantal Petitclerc, who won five wheelchair gold medals, Brazilian swimmer Clodoaldo Silva, who won six gold and one silver, and blind Kenyan runner Henry Wanyoike, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.
The world's top wakeboarder Dallas Friday has been nominated for the Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year Award after winning her third X Games gold in 2004, as has freeskier and BASE jumper Shane McConkey, one of whose exploits during the year was to ski down the summit of the 13,025ft Eiger mountain in Switzerland before opening his parachute.
Also nominated in this category are Canada's mountain bike freerider Darren Berrecloth, Norwegian mountain biker Gunn-Rita Dahle, who won the Olympic cross-country gold medal, South African explorer Mike Horn, who became the first man to circumnavigate the Arctic Circle on foot and by kayak, and Britain's Ellen MacArthur, who set a record for a solo round-the-world sail of 27,000 miles in 71 days.
Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique collection of 40 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time who constitute the most authoritative sports jury ever, have been voting over the last few weeks to decide who should be the recipients of Laureus Awards. Their decision will be announced at the Casino Estoril on the evening of May 16 in front of a worldwide TV audience of 460 million.
The full list of nominees for the 2005 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Lance Armstrong (US) - winner of Tour de France cycle race for record sixth time
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.