Gilmore in line for Laureus repeat
LIKE the sets on a dream day at Snapper, the accolades keep rolling through for Tweed’s four-time surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmore.
Following a ballot by the world’s media, the Kingscliff product has been nominated for a fourth consecutive Laureus World Sport Award.
The 2010 Action Sportsperson of the Year, Gilmore will defend her crown at a televised ceremony in Abu Dhabi on February 7.
Judged by a jury comprising 46 of the world’s greatest sports-men and women, the awards are recognised as the premier international sporting honours.
In November Gilmore became the only surfer, male or female, to win four consecutive ASP world titles since her season debut, claiming her first as an 18-year-old in 2007.
The former Kingscliff High School student also claimed her third Triple Crown of Surfing title in Hawaii last month.
Australian surfing legend and seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, now a member of the Laureus Friends and Ambassadors program said Gilmore deserved every accolade.
“You can only be amazed at the impact Stephanie has made on surfing,” Beachley said.
“Her achievements are phenomenal, she is a talented surfer, a wonderful sportswoman and a great Australian. It’s amazing to think she is still just 22.
“With four world championships from as many attempts, you can only imagine how many more she will win.
“She really deserved to win the Laureus Action Sports Award last year and stands a great chance of repeating that success.”
Yet while Gilmore reinforced her status as the world’s most dominant female surfer, she faces some stiff competition if she’s to achieve the rare feat of retaining her Laureus crown.
Also nominated for the Action Sports Award are top male surfer American Kelly Slater, New Zealand’s free-style motocross rider Levi Sherwood, Britain’s BMX star Jamie Bestwick, US snowboarder Shaun White and Spanish windsurfer Victor Fernandez.
Australia does however have a second nominee in Matt Cowdrey who has been nominated for the 2011 World Sports-person of the Year with a Disability Award.
Born with a congenital amputation of his lower left arm, the 21-year-old began his year by winning six gold medalsat the IPC World Swimming Championships in Eindhoven and followed it up two months later with gold at the Commonwealth Games.