KUALA LUMPUR, March 19, 2014 – Film and TV star Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for his portrayal of the detective Sherlock Holmes in the British BBC TV series Sherlock is to host the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 26.
Benedict has appeared in a series of highly successful films over the last few years, including this years Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and the Academy award nominated August: Osage County. In addition last year he appeared as Julian Assange in the Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate and as the Dragon Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Benedict has also appeared in Atonement (2007), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Steven Spielberg's War Horse (2011).
He said: "I am a big sports enthusiast and I am delighted to be able to host such an important event in the sporting year. I have seen the names of all the great sportsmen and women who have been nominated for the Laureus Awards this year and, although I played a great detective in Sherlock, I have to confess I have no idea who is going to win. They all seem to have achieved so much. But it will be great to be part of such a special event."
Cumberbatch recently took part in 50 Years on Stage, the Royal National Theatre's landmark event for its 50th anniversary, taking on the role of Rosencrantz in a scene from Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In 2015 he will return to the stage to play Hamlet in London's West End.
A great supporter of charities, Cumberbatch is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust which aims to help disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. After playing scientist Stephen Hawking in the TV production of Hawking in 2004, he has been an active supporter and patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The 15th Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2013, is the premier honours event 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, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur on the evening of Wednesday, March 26.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 140 community sports projects in 34 countries. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people.
More information about other guest attendees and the schedule of activities will be announced in due course. Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane.
Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) is the corporate social responsibility partner of the Laureus World Sports Awards and has been working with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to help young people in Malaysia through the use of sport. Edwin Moses said: "We are not just in Malaysia for the Laureus Awards. We have been working with YR1M to do what we can to help young people. We are really delighted to be working with such excellent partners as YR1M and we hope our activities will make a difference."
YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri, Minister of Tourism & Culture of Malaysia, said: "Kuala Lumpur is honoured to have been given the privilege of hosting the prestigious 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards and the city looks forward to staging this internationally-renowned event and welcoming a plethora of sporting legends to Malaysia. This is a sports-loving country and I can promise warm Malaysian hospitality awaits all our guests. Coupled with international events such as the Monsoon Cup and Formula One Grand Prix, we are supremely confident that Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is the perfect host for a sporting event with such global significance. I am positive this will be an event to remember for all involved."
The full list of Nominees for the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics; Mo Farah (UK) Athletics; LeBron James (US) Basketball; Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football; Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing.
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Nadine Angerer (Germany) Football; Missy Franklin (US) Swimming; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics; Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) Athletics; Tina Maze (Slovenia) Skiing; Serena Williams (US) Tennis.
Laureus World Team of the Year
All Blacks (NZ) Rugby Union; Bayern Munich (Germany) Football; Brazil Men’s Football Team; Bob & Mike Bryan (US) Tennis; Miami Heat (US) Basketball; Red Bull (Austria) Motor Racing.
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Afghanistan Cricket Team; Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling; Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany) Athletics; Nairo Quintana (Colombia) Cycling; Justin Rose (UK) Golf; Adam Scott (Australia) Golf.
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) Athletics; Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis; Oracle Team USA – Sailing; Tony Parker (France) Basketball; Ronaldinho (Brazil) Football; Tiger Woods (US) Golf.
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Marie Bochet (France) Skiing; Marcel Hug (Switzerland) Wheelchair Racing; Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing; Sophie Pascoe (NZ) Swimming; Sarah Louise Rung (Norway) Swimming; Olga Sviderska (Ukraine) Swimming.
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX; Bob Burnquist (Brazil) Skateboarding; Mick Fanning (Australia) Surfing; John John Florence (US) Surfing; Maya Gabeira (Brazil) Surfing; Shaun White (US) Snowboarding.
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