Kelly Slater: the boss

Kelly Slater has been awarded Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year 2011. The 10-time world surfing champion secured the "Oscar of Action Sports" in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.

The Floridian surfer from Cocoa Beach beat fellow action sports stars Jamie Bestwick (UK, BMX), Victor Fernandez (Spain,Windsurfing), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia, Surfing), Levi Sherwood (New Zealand, Freestyle Moto-Cross) and Shaun White (US, Snowboarding).

American Kelly Slater received a warm reception from an enthusiastic audience as he was presented with the Laureus Action Sports Award for the third time, after winning a record tenth World Surfing Championship. He became the youngest ever world champion in 1992 at the age of 20. He became the oldest at 38 in 2010.

Lindsey Vonn made it an American double by winning the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award after a stellar year in which she secured her third straight skiing World Cup and the Olympic Downhill gold medal. The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.

The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, were announced at a televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi hosted by double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and attended by guests from the worlds of sport and entertainment.

The Awards were announced in seven categories. The winners were:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Rafael Nadal
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Lindsey Vonn
Laureus World Team of the Year: Spain World Cup Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Martin Kaymer
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Valentino Rossi
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Verena Bentele
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater