The Laureus World Sports Awards (the world's annual leading international sports awards) has announced its nominations for this year's Action Sportsperson of the Year, and three WSL surfers have been recognized.
Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina and Maya Gabeira all received a nod from the organization that supports over 100 community projects around 40 countries. The other three athletes up for the award are snowboarders Shaun White, Chloe Kim and Anna Gasser.
"It's an honor to be nominated for a Laureus award, I truly admire the foundation, the work they do and their belief in the power of sport," Gilmore told the WSL after the announcement. "It's an all-star cast of nominees in the action sports category alongside Gabriel, so I'm sure it will be tough to pick a winner!"
Since the awards debut in 2000, Americans have been the most successful with eight awards in the 'Action Sportsperson of the Year' category and surfing has been recognized more than any other sport with six awards. Kelly Slater is the only individual to have won the award more than once, winning in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Gilmore is also a previous winner in 2010. If Medina or Gabeira are to win, they will become the first Brazilian surfer to be recognized.
The other female surfer to possess the Laureus statuette is Layne Beachley for her win in 2004 - only four women have won the award in its history.
"I'm very humbled and honored to be alongside some incredible athletes this year in the action sports category," says big wave surfer Maya Gabeira. "And to know that there are so many women nominated this year, it's very inspiring."
Gabeira holds the Guinness World Record for largest wave surfed by a female.
The winners, as voted for by the 66 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be unveiled at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco on February 18.
To learn more about the Laureus, please visit the Laureus Website.