Serena Williams – Sportsperson of the Year
Serena Williams is arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time. Her 36 Grand Slam titles and 4 Olympic Gold medals clearly point to that. 34 years old now, she is showing no signs of stopping. She had a stellar 2015, winning three Majors and completeing a second “Serena Slam”. So when Sports Illustrated named her Sportsperson of the Year in 2015, no one was surprised. She thoroughly deserved it.
Serena wasn’t finished with the season though. When she took the mike, she delivered a one of the most powerful sportspersons speeches that inspired no less than any of her amazing victories so far. A speech so inspiring, especially to women, it would instantly make the listener want to become a better version of themselves. She talked about how she has faced criticism for her looks, her gender and her race- but how she overcame all of that to become the champion she is now. She spoke about women excelling in all spheres of life, of battling hardships of all kind to succeed.
The standout quote from the night was , “I’ve had people look down on me, put me down because I didn’t look like them; I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because the color of my skin, I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I’ve had critics say I’d never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven, and here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles… and I’m still going.”
The American ended her speech telling “all the ladies out there” that they can be successful too and then aptly read out an extract from Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”.