Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore, who was crowned the 2011 ASP Women's World Champion in July, has been nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in sports.
Joining an elite list of nominees for the 2012 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year, the 19-year-old Moore is in the running against icons Kelly Slater, Shaun White, snowboarder Travis Rice, and BMX legend Jamie Bestwick.
"I don't know much about the award," Moore told ESPN via email, "but it's certainly an honor to be nominated alongside those athletes. Winning the world title in France was a definite highlight [of 2011]. Being able to raise the Hawaiian flag above my head and represent where I come from was a dream come true."
With an unprecedented streak, Moore surfed six finals in the seven-contest season, clinching her maiden world title at the sixth event, the Roxy Pro event in Biarritz, France. It was there that she recorded another ASP first: the youngest Women's World Tour champ. She was also the first female Hawaiian to take the title since Margo Oberg's crowning in 1981. Moore topped off her competitive season as the first woman ever invited to ride in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and taking home the Surfer Poll Award for best female surfer.
On top of her stellar stats, Moore has a track record of giving back. After her win at the 2010 TSB Women's Surf Festival in New Zealand, for example, Moore donated her $15,000 check to the Waitara Bar Boardriders Club. "I just try to give back in some way every year either with ... time [or] donations," she says.
Even with her philanthropy and competitive successes, Moore is still very much the underdog for the Laureus.
The award's 2012 installment marks the fifth nomination for 11-time ASP World Champion Slater, who has already won the Laureus three times ('07, '09, '11). Another banner season unfurled as well for White -- who has been nominated for the Laureus six times, with a win in 2008 -- as he followed his historic fourth consecutive Winter X Game SuperPipe gold medal with a Skate Vert gold at X Games 17. Rounding out the nominations, Rice is widely considered one of the best all-around snowboarders on the planet, while 40-year-old Bestwick -- who won his fifth straight X Games BMX Vert gold medal this past summer -- keeps adding to his long legacy of competitive domination.
According to its website, "Laureus celebrates the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good, passionately embodying the very spirit of sport -- the pursuit of excellence, overcoming challenges, celebrating achievement and excellence."
The winner will be announced February 6 in London.