Rarely a day goes by without a big achievement in the life of Naomi Osaka. The four-time Grand Slam champion is winning tennis matches, launching projects and companies, doing campaigns for luxury brands, and fighting for a better world all at the same time. The latest recognition in this young woman’s biography is the 2021 Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Award.
The award recognizes Osaka’s efforts both on and off the court. While her two US Open and two Australian Open titles speak for themselves, the 23-year-old has also recently become very active in raising awareness about racial injustice, demonstrating incredible activism and support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
I am so happy to receive this Award. Looking ahead my main hopes for the future would be to have helped or impacted as many people as I could. You know, if you have a platform I think it’s very important to use it.
Usain Bolt congratulated the world No.2 Osaka: “You are such a great role model for all the athletes and you show the woman athletes around the world what hard work and dedication can do.”
This is the Osaka’s second recognition at the Laureus Sports Awards, as she won Breakthrough of the Year in 2019.
Billie Jean King, who founded the WTA in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity and won 129 singles titles during her illustrious career, was presented with the 2021 Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award. Reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek was nominated for Breakthrough of the Year, but didn’t win.