Valentino Rossi has been nominated for a Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.
Rossi won the MotoGP championship last year, his ninth world title in grand prix racing and his seventh title in top level MotoGP.
Others nominated include Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt, who was a 2009 Laureus champion and won three gold medals at the Athletics World Championship last year, and tennis pro Roger Federer, who has won the Laureus award four times previously. Long distance runner Kenenisa Bekele, Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, and FC Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi are also nominated.
No motorcycle racer has ever won the award, though Giacomo Agostini is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, and Rossi was nominated for the Sportsman of the Year Award in 2004, 2005, and 2009, and for a Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award (perhaps prematurely) in 2006.
A jury of 46 of the world’s greatest sporting figures will determine the results, which will be announced on Mar. 10 in Abu Dhabi.
Among nominees for other Laureus awards were Serena Williams for World Sportswoman, Lance Armstrong for the World Comeback of the Year Award, and the New York Yankees for the World Team of the Year Award.
See more about the Laureus awards at www.laureus.com.