Arisa Trew, a 14-year-old skateboarding sensation with her eyes set on the Olympics, has become the sole Australian honoured at world sport’s biggest awards gala.

While Novak Djokovic and Aitana Bonmati were being saluted as world sportsman and sportswoman of the year at the Laureus Awards, the Gold Coast youngster was thrilled to be named the action sportsperson of the year at a lavish ceremony in Madrid.

Trew was honoured for her pioneering feat at the age of just 13 last year when she became the first female skater to land a 720, a trick that involves two full rotations in mid-air, in competition.

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She pulled off the iconic move, first successfully performed by skating great Tony Hawk in 1985, at the X Games’ flagship California event in July last year — and he was there to applaud Trew as she made history.

“I look up to Tony Hawk so much,” she said as she received her Laureus award from French football great Patrice Evra.

“I was pretty close to landing it for a while and I knew at the comp I wanted to try it. He helped me, gave me some tips, so it was really cool because he’s one of my idols.”

Subsequently, the young Queenslander became the first female in X Games history to win both the park and vert “double” and is now firmly on course to wear green and gold at the Olympics.

Coach Trevor Ward said it is hard to believe the Olympic hopeful only started competing two-and-a-half years ago.

“I’ve never really met anyone like her, the way she skates,” he told the ABC.

“I was a professional skateboarder myself and she’s learnt tricks in two days that took me six months to learn. She is quite a driven person, and nothing is too hard for her.”

Trew arrived at the Laureus ceremony with her skateboard and showed off some tricks on the red carpet.

“It’s a really big achievement for me because I didn’t really think I would even be here,” she said.

Trew beat out fellow skater Rayssa Leal, surfers Caroline Marks and Filipe Toledo, as well as South African sailor Kirsten Neuschafer and British BMX rider Bethany Shriever.

Arisa Trew photographed in mid-air above her skateboard while doing a trick on the red carpet at the Laureus sport awards.

Trew showed her skills on the red carpet.(AP: Manu Fernandez)

Ward said Trew is on track to make the Olympic team with two more qualifying competitions to go before the Paris Games in July.

“We go to Shanghai in May and then Budapest in June and hopefully she does well enough, and she should qualify for the Olympics and hopefully we can get a medal at the Olympics,” he said.

Other stars of the Laureus Awards night were Spanish World Cup winner Bonmati, recognised as the best female footballer during a triumphant campaign in Australia.

She also picked up the team of the year award on behalf of her colleagues.

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady handed Djokovic his fifth Laureus award for the world number one player’s landmark 2023 tennis season, in which he equalled Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles with wins at the Australian, French and US opens, as well as reaching the Wimbledon final.

Gymnast Simone Biles won comeback of the year after her four gold medals at last year’s world championships, her first international event since competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham won the world breakthrough of the year after his stellar season at Real Madrid, the first footballer to take that accolade.

The Laureus Awards nominees were selected by media, with the winners determined by the 69 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy since the first awards were presented in 2000.

Trew joins Australian surfers Layne Beachley (2004) and Stephanie Gilmore (2010) in winning her category.

Louis Sauvage (2000 athlete with a disability), the Australian men’s cricket team (2001 team of the year) and Daniel Ricciardo (2015 breakthrough athlete) are among Australia’s other winners at the awards night.

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AAP

Posted 2h ago2 hours agoMon 22 Apr 2024 at 9:47pm, updated 32m ago32 minutes agoMon 22 Apr 2024 at 11:43pm

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