Kiwi Paralympian Sophie Pascoe nominated for Laureus Award

Sophie Pascoe, the golden girl of para-swimming, is in the mix for a Laureus Sports Award.

Sophie Pascoe, the golden girl of para-swimming, is in the mix for a Laureus Sports Award.

New Zealand para-swimmer Sophie Pascoe has been nominated for a Laureus Sports Award.

The Kiwi won five medals at the Rio Paralympics – three golds and two silvers.

She is in the category of sportsperson of the year with a disability, and is up against fellow swimmer Ihar Boki from Belarus, visually impaired Cuban sprinter Omara Durand, Iran weightlifter Siamand Rahman, Swiss wheelchair racer Marcel Hug and Italian fencer Beatrice Vio.

Her nomination for a global gong came on the same day she was named a finalist in New Zealand's Halberg Awards.

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Pascoe, from Christchurch, is the only New Zealander in the mix of the Laureus Awards. The winners will be announced at a plush ceremony in Monaco on February 14.

Last year, the world champion All Blacks had a breakthrough win in the team award. Steve Hansen's team haven't made the cut this time, despite dropping just one test in 2016.

Fiji's Olympic and world series champion sevens team have been nominated in the breakthrough of the year category.

The Laureus sports academy is chaired by former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick, who said: "You always know in an Olympic year you are going to see a strong group of nominees and this year has certainly proved that."

"What delights me is that we have an amazing mix of some of the greatest names in sport who have been performing at the highest level for as long as a decade, combined with some of the most exciting new faces we have seen for many years. It really is going to be an exceptional Laureus Awards next month."

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Laureus Sports Awards Nominees:

Sportsman of the Year
Cristiano Ronaldo (football)
Usain Bolt (athletics)
Mo Farah (athletics)
Andy Murray (tennis)
Stephen Curry (basketball) 
LeBron James (basketball)

Sportswoman of the Year
Simone Biles (gymnastics)
Katie Ledecky (swimming)
Allyson Felix (athletics)
Angelique Kerber (tennis)
Elaine Thompson (athletics)
Laura Kenny (cycling)

Comeback of the Year
Michael Phelps (swimming)
Ruth Beitia (athletics)
Juan Martin del Potro (tennis)
Nick Skelton (equestrian)
Fabienne (triathlon)
Aksel Lund Svindal (skiing)

Team of the Year
Mercedes AMG Petronas (motorsport)
Portugal (football)
Real Madrid (football)
Brazil Olympic team (football)
Chicago Cubs (baseball)
Cleveland Cavaliers (basketball)

Breakthrough of the Year
Nico Rosberg (motorsport)
Almaz Ayana
Wayde van Niekerk (athletics)
Leicester City (football)
Iceland (football)
Fiji (rugby sevens)

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award
Sophie Pascoe (swimming)
Ihar Boki (swimming)
Omara Durand (athletics)
Siamand Rahman (weightlifting)
Marcel Hug (athletics) 
Beatrice Vio (fencing)

Action Sportsperson of the Year
John John Florence (surfing) 
Tyler Wright (surfing) 
Chloe Kim (snowboarding)
Pedro Barros (skateboarding)
Rachel Atherton (mountain biking)
Kelly Sildaru (skiing)

 - Stuff


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