The Springboks, South Africa’s national rugby team, won the prestigious Laureus Award for the World Team of the Year 2020 in Berlin on Monday night. The Boks were up against Liverpool Football Club, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, Spain Men’s Basketball Team, the Toronto Raptors and the United States Women’s Football Team.

The 2008 Springbok team won the award in the same year, making this the second time a Springbok team has won the Laureus Award for World Team of the Year. This year, the awards celebrated the 20th anniversary since their inception.

The Bokke’s nomination came as a result of the incredibly triumphant win at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in November. Their outstanding performance was a historic and symbolic win for the team and our country.

It united South Africans in a way that only sport can. The supercharged match saw the Boks defeat England 32-12. The victory was the third World Cup win for South Africa and came 12 years after the last win in 2007.

When the team arrived home, their victory tour saw the streets of South Africa flooded with supporters.

Excitement for tonight’s win began long before the Boks arrived at the awards held in Berlin.

Host, Hugh Grant, got the crowd to their feet in a moving tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and the 7 others who perished in a helicopter crash recently.

He also quoted Nelson Mandela: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.”

The Sportsman of the Year Award went to two legends for the first time in the Lareus Awards History. Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi walked away with the top honours. The equally coveted award of Sportswoman of the Year Award went to Simone Biles who won it for the third time.

Bryan Habana was also proudly inducted as the 69th member of the Laureus Academy.

Winners:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles
Laureus World Team of the Year: South Africa Men’s Rugby Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Egan Bernal
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Sophia Flörsch
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oksana Masters
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim
Laureus Best Sporting Moment: ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar
Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Dirk Nowitzki
Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Spanish Basketball Federation
Laureus Sport for Good Award: South Bronx United

 

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We’ve got some serious names in the building 🙌🏼 – #Laureus20 bringing the talent together 🙏 #SportUnitesUs

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Members of the Bok team and their significant others looking sharp ahead of the awards.

South Africans are collectively beaming with pride once again for this magnificent team of sportsmen.

Image: Facebook/ Spingboks

Article written by

Imogen Searra