ESTORIL, Portugal, April 24. MICHAEL Phelps, currently gearing up for this summer’s World Championships in Montreal, is one of the finalists for World Sportsman of the Year, as selected by the Laureus World Sports Academy. The banquet to announce the winner will be held in Portugal on May 16.
The Laureus nominations were made by 528 sports journalists from 82 nations. A 40-person panel will determine the winner of the Sportsman of the Year award. The award ceremony will be witnessed by a worldwide television audience of 460 million.
Phelps’ nomination is the result of a 2004 season for the ages. The winner of eight medals at the Athens Olympics, Phelps won individual gold in the 100 and 200 butterfly events and the 200 and 400 individual medley disciplines. He also secured a bronze medal in the 200 freestyle.
Other leading candidates for Sportsman of the Year include Lance Armstrong, who won his consecutive Tour de France cycling title, and Roger Federer, who won three grand slam tennis championships last year. Michael Schumacher, who won a seventh Formula One championship in auto racing, is also a nominee.