2021 Sports Awards
The trophies were awarded to our best sports ambassadors of 2021 by a jury of professional sports journalists and former trophy winners who no longer compete.
Nina Derwael was voted Sportswoman of the Year for the third time in her career (following 2018 and 2019). The 21-year-old Belgian gymnast, Olympic champion on the uneven bars in Tokyo, scored 1,153 points. She was just ahead of Nafissatou Thiam (1,075 points), Olympic champion in the heptathlon, and the defending champion, basketball player Emma Meesseman (430 points), winner of the EuroLeague with Ekaterinburg.
Wout van Aert remains Sportsman of the Year for the second year in a row. The 27-year-old Belgian cyclist, who won the silver medal in the road race at the Olympic Games, amassed 13 road wins in 2021. With 948 points, Van Aert was just ahead of Bashir Abdi (927 points), bronze medallist in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics and European record-holder in the discipline, and Matthias Casse (593 points), world judo champion in the under 81 kg category and Olympic bronze medallist.
Peter Genyn was elected Paralympic Sportsman of the Year for the third year in a row. Gold medallist in the 100m despite being sabotaged and silver medallist in the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics, the 44-year-old wheelchair sprinter scored 351 points, ahead of Michèle George (301 points), gold medallist in the individual freestyle and the individual para-dressage in Tokyo, and Joachim Gérard (262 points), Australian Open and Wimbledon wheelchair tennis champion.
The Red Lions were named Team of the Year for the fifth time. The Belgian hockey players, who are Olympic champions, were voted most popular with 1,197 points, ahead of the Belgian Cats (600 points), the national women's basketball team, and the show jumping team, bronze medallists at the Tokyo Games.
Thank you to our sportsmen and women for doing Belgium proud on the international scene throughout 2021!