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2016-12-20 16:36:00 CET

More Than Sports: Hard-earned Honors

Beach Volleyball players around the world receive awards

The sporting year is coming to an end – and that means, besides snacking on Christmas cookies, that it is time to reflect about great moments and great athletes. No sooner is one award being handed out there’s another one being presented – and the Swatch Major Series stars are right in the middle of it!

Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst were voted as Germany’s Sports Team of the Year and beat off the challenge of Germany’s men’s handball and football teams to triumph. “That’s the biggest award possible in Germany, all athletes would have deserved it,” Kira says. “To be in front of handball and football in Germany is a big thing for our sport.” They got surprised by sport psychologist Anett Szigeti, who handed over the trophy to them. 

Amazing night out just the girls of the team ūüėč #sportsteamoftheyear2016 thanks for this great show and party...that was a perfect finish of our year 2016 #sportlerdesjahres2016 @zdf

See this Instagram photo by @lalu86 * 1,166 likes

Family award for three generations of Samoilovs

The Samoilovs family had also reason to celebrate: Aleksandrs ‘Lion King’ Samoilovs was announced as the Sportsman of a Year in his native city in Lativa, Jurmala. His father and coach Genadijs was named Coach of the Year, while Aleksandrs’ younger brother Mihails, received Rising Star of the Year prize.

Sport award of the year. Rookie of the year, best coach and athlete of the year. Thanks @jurmalalv for wonderful ceremony. #SamoilovsDinasty #domination #LionKing

See this Instagram photo by @samoilovs * 698 likes

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen have been nominated for Team of the Year in the NOC*NSF Sports Gala, which will be held on 21 December. Meeuwsen has already has the Stadspenning of Nieuwegein to his name following his outstanding achievement of winning with bronze in Rio de Janeiro. He and Alexander Brouwer were the first Dutch men who ever won a medal at the Olympic Games in beach volleyball.

Robert Meeuwsen (right) with Major Frans Backhuijs in Nieuwegein. Photocredit: Fototeam KenM.Robert Meeuwsen (right) with Major Frans Backhuijs in Nieuwegein. Photocredit: Fototeam KenM.

Daniele Lupo, silver medalist in Rio, won the Winning Attitude Award in Rome, Italy; while Phil Dalhausser was crowned USA Volleyball’s Male Beach Player of the Year. It was the Americans sixth Male Beach Player of the Year award in the last 10 years and he’s not done yet.

April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings were named the 2016 USA Volleyball Beach Team of the Year but they announced an early Christmas present when they announced to the world that they will continue playing together for the 2017! 

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