Simone Biles, Leo Messi and Chloe Kim clean up at 2020 Laureus Awards

Simone Biles, Leo Messi, Lewis Hamilton, Sachin Tendulkar, Oksana Masters and Chloe Kim headlined a stellar evening in Berlin

By Ken Browne ·

Simone Biles won Laureus Sportswoman of the Year 2020, as Leo Messi shared the men's award with F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

The 20th Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony took place in Berlin, as sports' best and brightest gathered to celebrate under the theme 'Sport Unites Us'.

Fittingly, the gala event was held in the Verti Hall, metres from the remnants of the Berlin Wall.

Olympians were front and centre at the ceremony with Biles and Messi winning the top two individual awards, and another Olympic snowboard gold medallist Chloe Kim took the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the year for the second year running.

Rugby World Cup winners South Africa took home the team award while Oksana Masters took the sportsperson of the year with a disability prize.

Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal won the World Breakthrough of the Year title for his victory in the 2019 Tour de France.

Biles sparkles in Berlin

Four-time Olympic champ Biles dominated the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, winning five gold medals to become the most decorated athlete in the event's history.

22-year-old Biles collected her third Laureus award in Berlin having won it in 2017 and 2019.

Biles spoke live from her training camp in Texas where her preparations for Tokyo 2020 continue at pace.

Unfortunately the audio didn't feed through to the event hall and an unfazed Michael Johnson had to guess what she was saying!

He was fairly accurate too.

When Biles was asked if she was ever going to give up and 'give someone else a go', she said she was likely to "hang it up" if all goes to plan this year.

"We'll have to see how the rest of the year pans out, but if it all goes plan, yes, it's time to hang it up." - Simone Biles

Leo Messi and Lewis Hamilton share sportsman of the year

Football megastar Leo Messi and Formula 1 race driver Lewis Hamilton shared the sportsman of the year award in Berlin.

Messi became the first ever team sports member to receive the gong and spoke in a recorded message from Barcelona about the honour he felt to win the award, also recognising the great work of Laureus around the world.

Work which has touched the lives of over six million children worldwide.

British driver Hamilton won his sixth World Championship crown in 2019 to go second in F1's all-time list, one title behind German Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton won 11 of the 21 Grand Prix during the 2019 calendar, taking his tally to 84 career race victories, seven shy of Schumacher's tally.

"Wow, this is such an incredible honour," began Hamilton in his acceptance speech, going on to talk about how sports stars need to use their platform to speak up on the issues of our day including gender equality, inclusivity, and the environment.

Chloe Kim wins second Laureus award

PyeongChang 2018 Olympic champion Chloe Kim picked up her second Laureus award after another stunning year where she bagged her first World Championships halfpipe gold medal and a fifth Winter X Games title.

Kim has taken a year out from competition to concentrate on her studies at Princeton University.

"Oh my God, I cannot believe I've won this two years in a row. I wish I could be there to party it up with you guys but I have to stay and home and study Biology" - Chloe Kim

Laureus remembers Kobe and Gianna Bryant

There was a moment of solidarity as the crowd joined in a moment's applause for basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna who were both killed in a tragic helicopter crash last month.

Never forgotten: Host Hugh Grant asks for applause to commemorate Kobe Bryant during the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Laureus)

India's moment

The Laureus Sporting Moment Award (2000-2020) was voted for by the public with the decision going to Sachin Tendulkar leading India to Cricket World Cup glory on home soil in 2011.

In his sixth World Cup, superstar batter Tendulkar captained the side to a long-awaited triumph and wrote his name into Indian sports lore and legend.

The award celebrated moments from the past two decades where sport has unified people in the most extraordinary way.

Tendulkar spoke powerfully about sport uniting entire nations, and transcending borders.

Oksana Masters wins Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Six-time Paralympic champion Oksana Masters was recognised for her amazing contribution to sport.

Born a victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Masters was adopted as a nine-year-old by American speech therapist Gay Masters, who had no children of her own.

Masters was shown a black and white photo of Oksana and the rest was history.

The young Oksana had to have numerous surgeries after she arrived in the USA, both of her legs were amputated above the knee.

She went on to excel at sports winning five winter Paralympic medals in cross-country skiing, two of them gold, and a bronze medal in Para rowing at London 2012.

There was a lovely moment when Oksana and her mother shared the stage together, and Gay was asked how she feels now about that black and white photo.

"I just wanted someone who had survived their childhood, and they gave me a superhero." - Gay Masters on daughter Oksana

Hugh Grant does his best Sharon Stone impression

There was plenty of Hollywood sparkle too with Hugh Grant hosting these Oscars of the sporting world.

The British actor stepped in with original host Sharon Stone unable to attend, and his first line was: "I'm very sorry, I'm not Sharon Stone."

Hugh Grant on the red carpet before the ceremony. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Laureus)

Olympic flavour

The star-studded nominee list was packed with Olympic luminaries like winners Simone Biles, Lionel Messi, and Chloe Kim.

But many more were nominated like London 2012 and two-time Women's World Cup football winner Megan Rapinoe, double tennis gold medallist Rafa Nadal, and athletics powerhouse mothers Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Superstar long distance runner Eliud Kipchoge who ran the world's first ever sub-two hour marathon in October 2019, awarded Oksana Masters trophy to her.

Athletes who have given us immortal Olympic moments were also in attendance in Berlin with champion swimmer Mark Spitz speaking eloquently about the power of sport, and legendary figure skater Katerina Witt performing on the ice for the first time in 10 years.

Plenty of future Olympic stars were in the running for big gongs too, particularly in the 'Action Sportsperson of the Year' category.

Surfing makes its debut at Tokyo 2020 this summer and we will see Carissa Moore and Italo Ferreira on the beach with skateboarders Nyjah Huston and Rayssa Leal also sure to feature.

Liam Payne performs at Laureus 2020

With some of the brightest stars in the world from sports and showbiz blinging it up in Berlin, music was hardly going to miss out.

Liam Payne was delighted to be there with the former One Direction singer a huge sports fan.

He said, "From tennis to boxing, football to surfing, sport has always been a big part of my life. Much like music, it can give people hope and bring communities together.

"I’ve been inspired by the stories and achievements of this year’s nominees and I’ve heard about the brilliant work Laureus has done to help young people through sport.

"I’ve personally experienced the positive impact sport can have so I’m a huge supporter of that." - singer Liam Payne

2020 Laureus Sports awards nominees (winners in bold)

Sportsman of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics

Lewis Hamilton – Formula One

Lionel Messi – Football

Marc Marquez – MotoGP

Rafael Nadal – Tennis

Tiger Woods – Golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix – Athletics

Megan Rapinoe – Football

Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing

Naomi Osaka – Tennis

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics

Simone Biles – Gymnastics

Team of the Year

Liverpool – Football

Mercedes-AMG – Formula One

South Africa – Rugby Union

Spain – Basketball

Toronto Raptors – Basketball

United States Women – Football

Breakthrough of the Year

Andy Ruiz – Boxing

Bianca Andreescu – Tennis

Coco Gauff – Tennis

Egan Bernal – Cycling

Japan – Rugby Union

Regan Smith – Swimming

Comeback of the Year

Andy Murray – Tennis

Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union

Kawhi Leonard – Basketball

Liverpool – Football

Nathan Adrian – Swimming

Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Alice Tai – Swimming

Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis

Jetze Plat – Triathlon

Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing

Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing

Omara Durand – Athletics

Action Sportsperson of the year

Carissa Moore – Surfing

Chloe Kim – Snowboarding

Italo Ferreira – Surfing

Mark McMorris – Snowboarding

Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding

Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding