Since its inception in 1954, Sports Illustrated magazine has annually presented the Sportsperson of the Year award to “the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement.”….where both Americans and non-Americans are eligible, though in the past the vast majority of winners have been from the United States….with both men and women have won the award….which was originally called “Sportsman of the Year”….and renamed “Sportswoman of the Year” or “Sportswomen of the Year” when applicable….and it is currently known as “Sportsperson of the Year.”
Tiger Woods and LeBron James are the only individuals who have received the award more than once. Woods received his first award in 1996 as an amateur golfer….and in 2000 as a professional golfer. James received his first award in 2012 and his second in 2016. They coincidentally have the same birthday, December 30th.
The trophy is a ceramic replica of an ancient Greek amphora (circa 510 BCE) which depicts nude male Hellenisticathletes engaged in a variety of athletic activities—running, discus, and javelin. It measures 8″ in diameter and stands 18.5″ high (20.32 x 47 cm). The original amphorae was acquired by Sports Illustrated magazine in 1954 and was donated to the “Sports” collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 1979.Winners of the award are now presented with a copy of the amphora made in silver by Tiffany & Co.