It can't get bigger or better than this — sports legends from different generations celebrating excellence in different disciplines through a foundation that aims to use sports as a catalyst to transform the lives of the underprivileged across the globe.
Yes, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is all set to honour the best performers of 2010 at a gala ceremony on February 7 that will be attended by Hollywood celebrities and hosted by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. This is the second successive time the Hollywood legend will be in charge of the show while Abu Dhabi, too, has earned the privilege of hosting the event again.
What wouldn't be repeated this year, though, is the winner of the Sportsman-of-the-year award. Usain Bolt, who raced away with the prize in the previous two years, is not on the shortlist this time after an injury-plagued 2010. Interestingly, Bolt's main rival, Tyson Gay, is among the nominees for the Comeback-of-the-year award.
It promises to be a close affair this year despite the fact that Rafael Nadal, who dominated the 2010 season, and Lionel Messi, who mesmerised everyone with his skills, are regarded as the top contenders along with the youngest-ever Formula One World champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Spain's Andres Iniesta, scorer of the goal that gave his country its first-ever World Cup, Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Philippines boxer Manny Pacquaio are the others who will add drama to the sports Oscars.
The nominees: Sportsman of the year: Kobe Bryant (basketball), Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi (football), Rafael Nadal (tennis), Manny Pacquiao (boxing) and Sebastian Vettel (formula one).
Sportswoman of the year: Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki (tennis), Jessica Ennis and Blanka Vlasic (athletics), and Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing).
Team of the year: All Blacks (New Zealand) rugby team, European Ryder Cup golf team, Spain World Cup football team, Inter Milan football team, Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and Red Bull Formula One team.
Breakthrough of the year: Martin Kaymer, Matteo Manassero and Louis Oosthuizen (golf), Christophe Lemaitre and Teddy Tamgho (athletics), and Thomas Mueller (football).
Comeback of the year: Paula Creamer (golf), Tyson Gay, Carolina Kluft and Merlene Ottey (athletics), Justine Henin (tennis) and Valentino Rossi (motor cycling).
Sportsperson of the year with a disability: Verena Bentele (skiing & biathlon), Jakub Krako and Lauren Woolstencroft (alpine skiing), Matt Cowdrey and Daniel Dias (swimming), and Esther Vergeer (wheelchair tennis).