Volleyball’s Mariusz Wlazly and bobsleigh’s Kaillie Humphries claimed the respective sportsman and sportswoman of the year titles at the inaugural edition of the SportAccord Awards here tonight.
Wlazly, a world champion with Poland last year, was chosen ahead of Georgian judoka Avtandil Tchrikishvili, Romanian ju-jitsu practitioner Camil Moldoveanu, and Spanish ski mountaineering star Kilian Jornet Burgada.
Humphries, Canada's double Olympic champion in the two-woman discipline, beat English netball player Geva Mentor, Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen and Russian gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva.
Among the other winners were France's Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner and Italian double Paralympic cycling gold medallist and former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi, who shared the sport hero award, and the International Netball Federation, who claimed the spirit of sport award.
Hosts Sochi beat Glasgow, Rio de Janeiro and Warsaw to the sport city of the year award.
The World Food Progamme’s 805 Million Names took the Play For Change media award.
“The 805 Million Names campaign was for raising awareness for hunger around the world,” said Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimović, who collaborates with the initiative.
The awards ceremony marked the end of the 2015 SportAccord Convention World Sport and Business Summit, which involved more than 3,000 participants.
“These awards are for sport and I will live till the end for sport,” said SportAccord President Marius Vizer.
A gala ceremony featuring performances from renowned Romanian tenor, Marcel Pavel, and singer, Irina Nicolae was broadcast live on Euronews worldwide and on the internet.
April 2015: Vizer officially declares SportAccord Convention open on dramatic day in Sochi