Valentino Rossi was honored with the 2011 Laureus World Sports Award ‘Comeback of the Year’ prize for his successful come back after injury during the practice session at Mugello. Valentino Rossi was back at track on German grand prix, Sachsenring, on July 16th after 1 month recovery. This incredible recovery make Rossi held off competition from US golfer Paula Creamer, American sprinter Tyson Gay, Belgian tennis star Justine Henin, and athletes Carolina Kluft and Merlene Ottey.
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal was named Sportsman of the Year and American skier Lindsey Vonn the Sportswoman of the Year at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi, which also bestowed awards in Team, Breakthrough, Sportsperson with a Disability, and Action Sportsperson of the Year categories, as well as Lifetime Achievement, Spirit of Sport and Sport for Good Awards.
This award was also announced at the ceremony that five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan had been elected to the Laureus World Sports Academy, joining another MotoGP Legend Giacomo Agostini.