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Laureus World Sports Awards 2008, St. Petersburg

The beautiful Russian city of St. Petersburg is rich in history and tradition, while at the same time embracing modern European values. The city has a well-developed infrastructure and world-class sporting facilities, making it an ideal venue for global sports events. It is fitting then that St. Petersburg has been chosen to host the 2008 Laureus World Sports Awards, which will be held on 18 February in the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theater.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the only global awards ceremony to represent all areas of sport and is widely recognized as the leading honors event in the international sporting calendar. High profile achievers in the sporting world gather to honor the finest sportswomen and sportsmen of the year. These are chosen by the sports jury made up of the 43 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, who themselves are sporting legends. Although attendance of the awards ceremony is by invitation only, it will be televised to a worldwide audience of sports enthusiasts.

The Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, Olympic legend Edwin Moses, has expressed his belief that having the awards ceremony in St. Petersburg will prove to be hugely beneficial for the prestige of the event as well as adding to the reputation of St. Petersburg as being an excellent sporting venue. The Governer of St. Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko, agrees with these sentiments and noted that sport plays a big part in the lives of many of the city’s inhabitants and they are looking forward to hosting the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Laureus consists of three key elements: the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus World Sports Awards and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Legendary humanitarian Nelson Mandela is the Patron of Laureus and his views on sport having the power to change the world by inspiring and uniting people, as well as awakening hope where there was only despair, has become the philosophy of Laureus. This worldwide collaboration of sport-lovers continues to promote the power of sport as a force for good. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation focuses on assisting young people to overcome negative circumstances brought about by poverty, war, homelessness, violence, discrimination, drug abuse and AIDS. To date 50 projects around the world have helped over 150,000 underprivileged young people to reach out for a better life.

The Laureus World Sports Awards has an underlying message of hope attached to it, which the fascinating country of Russia will be part of as St. Petersburg hosts this prestigious event.


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