No swimmers have been nominated for the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards, marking t he first time since 2015 where a swimmer wasn’t nominated for either Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year.
The nominees were weighted more heavily than normal toward winter Olympians after the 2018 Winter Olympics, including 2 skiers (Ester Ledecka, who also snowboards, and American Miakela Shiffrin) nominated for Sportswoman of the Year and the Norway Winter Olympic Team nominated for Team of the Year.
This marks just the 2nd time since the awards were launched in the year 2000 where a swimmer was not nominated for any of the organization’s 7 awards. Swimmers were not nominated for any awards in 2015, either.
The last swimmers to win Laureus Sports Awards in the major individual categories were: Brazilian Daniel Dias, who was named Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability in 2016; Michael Phelps, who won Comeback of the Year in 2017; Rebecca Adlington, who won Breakthrough of the Year in 2009; and Missy Franklin, who won Sportswoman of the Year in 2014. No other swimmer has ever won Sportswoman of the Year, and no swimmer ever has won Sportsman of the Year.
The Refugee Olympic Team, which included 2 swimmers Rami Anis and Yusra Mardini, won a special Sporting Inspiration award in 2016.
Katie Ledecky had been nominated for Sportswoman of the Year in each of the last 3 years, but lost out to Serena Williams twice and Simone Biles once. In spite of breaking a World Record in 2018 in her first race as a professional, she wasn’t nominated for this year’s award.