Bethesda’s Katie Ledecky, 15, was placed on the shortlist for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards World Breakthrough of the Year award for her gold medal performance in the women’s 800-meter freestyle at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The story was first reported by Swimming World Magazine early Tuesday.
She joins eight swimmers, including Americans Missy Franklin, 17, and Michael Phelps who are up for four of the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards that will be handed out during a globally televised Awards Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro early next year. The list will be shortened to a final six nominees in each category who will be announced on December 13. The official date of the awards ceremony has not been released publicly.
Franklin and Phelps were included on the list for Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year awards after winning multiple gold medals in London this past summer. Franklin won four gold medals and one bronze medal in her first Olympics. Phelps won four gold and two silver medals, adding to his haul from the previous two Olympics, for a career total of 22 medals, 18 of them gold.
Phelps was nominated for Sportsman of the Year in 2005 and 2009, but did not win.
In the World Breakthrough of the Year, Ledecky will face off against three other swimmers — France’s Yannick Agnel, China’s Ye Shiwen and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte.
The only swimmer to ever win a Laureus World Sports award was Britain’s Rebecca Adlington in 2009 in this category. Adlington was 2008 Olympic champion in the 400 and 800 freestyle. She finished third behind Ledecky in the 800 freestyle at this year’s Olympics.
According to the Laureus website, the Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honoring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. Winners are selected by 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy comprised of some of the world’s greatest athletes, including swimmer Mark Spitz, golfer Jack Nicklaus, track star Michael Johnson and skateboarder Tony Hawk.
Other swimming nominees include Eric Shanteau in the World Comeback of the Year category. Shanteau made his second Olympic team this year just four years after being diagnosed with testicular cancer before the 2008 Olympic Games. China’s Sun Yang was also nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award for winning two gold medals in London, as was Diver David Boudia for his thrilling gold medal performance on the 10-meter platform.