‘I am a big sports enthusiast and I am delighted that I have made the team for the second straight year’ – says Benedict Cumberbatch
Laureus Awards to be held in Shanghai on April 15
Hugely popular film and TV actor Benedict Cumberbatch is to host next month’s Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai.
Fresh from his latest triumph, playing Bletchley Park scientist Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, which won him Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations, Cumberbatch will present the world’s most prestigious sports awards event for the second straight year.
Benedict said: “I am delighted the selectors have picked me again to be part of the team for such an important event for the second straight year. We all admire the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and women that we meet, so to be able to share the stage for such a signature moment for them is a treat for me.
“I am a big sports enthusiast and last year was a real pleasure for me. I met Tony Hawk, my childhood hero, and had the chance to swap a few running tips with Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson. And of course it is all for such a good cause. The work Laureus does around the world, using sport to improve the lives of young people, is an inspiration and I am delighted to be part of this very special event.”
Benedict has appeared in a series of highly successful films over the last few years, including the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and the Academy Award nominated August: Osage County. In addition he has appeared as Julian Assange in the Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate and as the Dragon Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, plus, of course, his role as Sherlock Holmes in the highly successful TV drama Sherlock.
He has also appeared in Atonement (2007), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (2011), and is about to star as Hamlet in London’s West End.
A great supporter of charities, Benedict is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust which aims to help disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. After playing scientist Stephen Hawking in the TV production of Hawking in 2004, he has been an active supporter and patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The 16th Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2014, is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 50 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in the Shanghai Grand Theatre on Wednesday, April 15.
Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane.
Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremonies in the past have included David and Victoria Beckham, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jackie Chan, Thandie Newton, Clive Owen and Eva Longoria.
The full list of Nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis; Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing; Renaud Lavillenie (France) Athletics; Rory McIlroy (UK) Golf; Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football.
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Valerie Adams (NZ) Athletics; Marit Bjørgen (Norway) Nordic Skiing; Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Tina Maze (Slovenia) Alpine Skiing; Li Na (China) Tennis: Serena Williams (US) Tennis.
Laureus World Team of the Year
European Ryder Cup Team (Golf); Germany Men’s Football Team; Mercedes AMG Petronas Team (Germany); Real Madrid Football Team (Spain); San Antonio Spurs (US) Basketball; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award
Marin Cilic (Croatia) Tennis; Mario Götze (Germany) Football; Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Motor Racing; James Rodriguez (Colombia) Football; Mikaela Shiffrin (US) Alpine Skiing; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).
Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award
Francesco Acerbi (Italy) Football; Schalk Burger (South Africa) Rugby; Diego Milito (Argentina) Football; Jo Pavey (UK) Athletics; Pierre Vaultier (France) Snowboarding; Oliver Wilson (UK) Golf.
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Shelley Gautier (Canada) Cycling; Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing; Roman Petushkov (Russia) Nordic Skiing; Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) Alpine Skiing; Sarah Storey (UK) Cycling; Leung Yuk Wing (Hong Kong SAR China) Boccia.
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award
Alan Eustace (US) Skydiving; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Nyjah Huston (US) Skateboarding; Sage Kotsenburg (US) Snowboarding; Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Cycling; Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing.