MONACO, February 16, 2018 



Ahead of Monday’s 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards, golfing great Lorena Ochoa, swimming legend Missy Franklin and hockey star Luciana Aymar have been announced as the 66th, 67th and 68th members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Missy, Luciana and Lorena join 65 of the greatest living sporting legends who all share a belief in the positive power of sport, and volunteer their time to support the work Laureus Sport for Good supports around the world. The three legendary sportswoman will be presented at the Laureus World Sports Awards for the first time at tomorrow’s Awards Ceremony in Monaco.

Missy Franklin is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the sport of swimming. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Franklin earned a gold medal as a member of the 4x200m free relay. The gold added to her medal haul from the 2012 Olympics in London, where she won four gold medals and one bronze medal (gold in the 100m back, 200m back, 4x200m free relay and 4x100m medley relay, and bronze in the 4x100m free relay). Franklin won six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, becoming the first female swimmer in history to win six gold medals at a single World Championships.

Record-setting hockey star Luciana Aymar is widely regarded as the greatest hockey player of all time, and is the only player to receive the FIH Player of the Year Award eight times. Nicknamed the ‘Maradona of hockey’, Luciana was famous for her skill and technique in gliding past opponents. During her glittering career, Luciana won two World Cups, six Champions Trophies and three Pan-American Games gold medals. She also won two silver and two bronze medals at four Olympic Games - the joint most by an Argentinean athlete at the Games.

Lorena Ochoa played on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour from 2003 to 2010 and was the top-ranked female golfer in the world for 158 consecutive and total weeks, both LPGA Tour records, from April 2007 to her retirement in May 2010, at the age of 28. As the first Mexican golfer to be ranked No.1 in the world, Lorena is widely considered the best Mexican golfer and the best Latin American female golfer of all time. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.

The 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards honour the greatest and most inspirational sports triumphs of 2018 and showcase the work of Laureus Sport for Good. In 2018, nearly 300,000 young people all over the world directly benefited from more than 160 Laureus Sport for Good supported programmes in 40 countries, working to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage by using sport as the tool for change.

Laureus Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick: As we look forward to our 20th anniversary next year, we are delighted to welcome three hugely inspirational and successful sportswoman in Lorena, Missy and Luciana into the Laureus Academy. Speaking to each of our new Academy Members, it’s clear they are passionate about their new roles, and dedicated to supporting the work of Laureus Sport for Good. At an exciting time in our organisation’s history, the Laureus World Sports Academy is going from strength to strength.”                                                                                        

Laureus Academy Member Missy Franklin:I’m honoured to be joining this phenomenal group of sporting legends who all believe in the positive impact sport can have. I’ve been a Laureus Ambassador since 2015, and in that time I have been fortunate enough to experience the transformational work of Laureus-supported programmes around the world. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Academy Members to use sport as a tool to improve the lives of young people.

Laureus Academy Member Luciana Aymar:Sport has been a huge part of my entire life and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact it can have on young people, so I’m delighted to commit my efforts in retirement to supporting Laureus in their mission in my new role as a Laureus Academy Member. I’ve heard about the transformational work Laureus is doing both in Argentina and around the world, and I’m can’t wait to get involved.

Laureus Academy Member Lorena Ochoa: “I’m so excited to join the Laureus World Sports Academy here in Monaco alongside Missy and Luciana. Having been involved in sport since the age of five, I am aware of the incredible impact it can have on young people. We want to use our platform with Laureus to inspire the next generation of young women and girls around the world.”