Valentino Rossi Wins 2011 Laureus Award

Valentino Rossi’s incredible recovery from injury in 2010 was recognised by the Laureus Academy on Monday, as the Italian MotoGP rider was honoured with the 2011 Laureus World Sports Award Comeback of the Year prize.

The Academy, which is made up of 46 of the greatest sportspeople of all time, voted Rossi’s remarkable return to action just 41 days after an exposed fracture of his right tibia as the comeback of the year. The Italian suffered the injury in a practice session crash at Mugello on June 5th, and was back on track for the opening practice session of the German Grand Prix on July 16th.

Rossi held off competition from US golfer Paula Creamer, American sprinter Tyson Gay, Belgian tennis star Justine Henin, and athletes Carolina Kluft and Merlene Ottey to take the prize.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal was named Sportsman of the Year and American skier Lindsey Vonn the Sportswoman of the Year at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi, which also bestowed awards in Team, Breakthrough, Sportsperson with a Disability, and Action Sportsperson of the Year categories, as well as Lifetime Achievement, Spirit of Sport and Sport for Good Awards.