As befitting its posh locale, the second annual Laureus World Sports Awards, held May 22 in Monte Carlo, was a no-expenses-spared operation. Sponsored by Daimler-Chrysler and luxury goods maker Richemont, the Awards drew athletes such as Boris Becker, Michael Johnson, Dan Marino (above, with Jean-Claude Van Damme), Martina Navratilova and Katarina Witt (left), as well as celebs like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gregory Hines and Monaco's Prince Albert. Of course, crowds like that come easy when you put your guests up in suites on the Riviera, drive them around in new Mercedes (120 cars were shipped in for the event) and fete them nonstop with parties. Some presenters even received free Cartier watches ( Jerry Lewis also picked up a Cartier ring, gratis, for his nine-year-old daughter). As a Laureus publicist said, "This is how you create a brand name."
The show was a polished affair, capped by LeAnn Rimes singing the Laureus anthem, I Dream. (She fared better than former decathlete Daley Thompson, who at an earlier party belted out Proud Mary and Mustang Sally. "He shouldn't give up his day job," said Edwin Moses. Retorted Thompson, " Moses? He's never had a day job.")
Tiger Woods won World Sportsman of the Year (and accepted by satellite), while Australian Olympian Cathy Freeman won Sportswoman honors. Jennifer Capriati (right) turned the most heads when she accepted her Comeback of the Year award in a revealing sari-influenced dress. Afterward, as revelers hurried off to yet another party, South African adventure athlete Mike Horn summed up: "Where else can you see athletes sing and dance with princes and actresses?"