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Rafael Nadal and Blanka Vlasic named athletes of the year – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 3rd, 2011 by Ian

Rafael Nadal and Blanka Vlasic named athletes of the year
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Everybody has an opinion when it comes to rating the best and worst of things and it’s no different for sports. The year 2010 featured a lot of excellent athletic events and performances throughout the world, especially with the Winter Olympic Games and World Cup of soccer taking place. However, when it came time for 515 journalists across the world to vote for the sportsman of the year, the award went to 24-year-old tennis player Rafael Nadal of Spain.

Nadal had an exceptional year as he became just the fourth male ever during the tennis open era to win the tennis grand slam after winning Wimbledon, the French Open, and the U.S. Open. He ended up getting 16 per cent of the vote from the 515 journalists while Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi came in second place and Spanish soccer player Andres Iniesta came in third. Messi and Iniests are teammates with Barcelona of Spain’s La Liga.

The sportswoman of the year award was won by Blanka Vlasic, the high jumper from Croatia, with skier Lindsey Vonn finishing in second place and tennis star Kim Clijsters in third. Vlasic also won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in 2010 as well as recognition as the European Athlete of the Year. She won gold medals at both the European Championships and the World Indoor Championships during 2010.

The team of the year award was easily won by the Spanish national soccer team for their victory at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They earned more than 42 per cent of the total vote. Canada’s ice hockey team placed second after winning the Winter Olympics and Brazil’s volleyball team came in third place.

This is how the voting went including and percentage of the vote

Best male athlete for 2010:

1. Rafael Nadal (Tennis) (16.32%)
2. Lionel Messi (Soccer) (14.97%)
3. Andrea Iniesta (Soccer) (14.73%)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Formula 1) (10.12%)
5. David Rudisha (Athletics) (8.96%)
6. Diego Forlan (Soccer) (4.93%)
7. Ole Einar Bjorndalen (Biathlon) (4.48%)
8. Manny Pacquaio (Boxing) (3.51%)
9. Carlo Janka (Alpine Skiing) (3.27%)
10. David Villa (Soccer) (3.21%)
11. Wesley Sneijder (Soccer) (3.06%)
12. Kobe Bryant (Basketball) (2.73%)
13. Graeme McDowell (Golf) (1.42%)
14. Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP) (1.38%)
15. Wladimir Klitschko (Boxing) (1.36%)
16. Camille Lacourt (Swimming) (1.36%)
17. Ondrej Synek (Rowing) (1.06%)

Best female athlete for 2010:

1. Blanka Vlasic (Athletics) (19.76%)
2. Lindsey Vonn (Alpine Skiing) (15.25%)
3. Kim Clijsters (Tennis) (14.24%)
4. Federica Pellegrini (Swimming) (9.28%)
5. Aliya Mustafina (Gymnastics) (8.25%)
6. Serena Williams (Tennis) (7.18%)
7. Maria Riesch (Alpine Skiing) (6.55%)
8. Evgeniya Kanayeva (Gymnastics) (4.47%)
9. Francesca Schiavone (Tennis) (4.09%)
10. Yuliya Efimova (Swimming) (3.09%)
11. Elisa Santori (Gymnastics) (3.02%)
12. Lauren Mitchell (Gymnastics) (2.55%)
13. Yani Tseng (Golf) (2.28%)

Best team for 2010:

1. Spain (Soccer) (42.36%)
2. Canada (Ice Hockey) (10.8%)
3. Brazil (Volleyball) (10.07%)
4. Red Bull (Formula 1) (9.26%)
5. Inter Milan (soccer) (9.36%)
6. Los Angeles Lakers (Basketball) (7.31%)
7. New Zealand (Rugby) (6.42%)
8. Russia (Greco-Roman wrestling) (2.4%)
9. New Orleans Saints (American Football) (1.67%)

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