SAN FRANCISCO, December 15, (THEWILL) – From a list of 12 incredibly talented and highly respected athletic figures, Serena Williams has been named 2015 sportsperson of the year by Sports Illustrated.
This year has been an indeed spectacular one for the 34-year old athlete, which has seen her win, her 21st Grand Slam title and defeating her sister Venus, at the U.S open and maintaining a #1 ranking throughout the entire season for the fifth time in her career despite many physical injuries.
On why the tennis player was named he sportsperson of the year, Sports Illustrated stated;
“ We are honoring Serena Williams too for reasons that hang in the greyer, less comfortable ether, where issues such as race and femininity collide with the games. Race was used as a cudgel against Williams at Indian Wells in 2001, and she returned the blow with a 14-year self-exile from the tournament. She returned to Indian Wells in ’15, a conciliator seeking to raise the level of discourse about hard questions, the hardest ones, really.
She was a difference-maker in other areas, speaking out against bodyshamers in both words and actions, posing for the Annie Leibovitz–shot Pirelli calendar in only a bikini bottom. The cover shot of this issue? Her idea, intended, like the Pirelli shots, to express her own ideal of femininity, strength, power. Her curiosity was ravenous, as she enrolled in an online history of civil rights class at UMass,guest-edited the October issue of Wiredand announced her return to Indian Wells in an essay in SI’s sister publication, Time.
She is not perfect, and assorted confrontation with, and perceived slights of, tournament officials, opponents and the public at large will find their way into her narrative, this one included. But as a performer, as a doer, as a symbol, no one extended themselves and embraced the best (and worst) the sports world has to offer quite like Serena Williams, champion, 2015 Sportsperson of the Year.”