Former world champion squash player Datuk Nicol David claimed the honour of being the World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time in a fair athlete poll. The 37-year-old Penangite gained the title after winning the most number of votes in the final round of 10 athletes.
Proud and humbled, Nicol was the only Asian athlete that was shortlisted to be part of the prestigious award. She aced the spot due to a massive 318,943 votes followed by Ireland’s tug of war athlete James Kehoe with 113,120 votes and Ukraine’s powerlifter Larysa Solovia who garnered 80,790 votes. The voting process began on January 21, where only top 10 candidates remain and Nicol has been leading the second and final phase since the beginning.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin congratulated Nicol for her achievement and expressed his hope for others to pursue similar success.
“I would like to share my proud feelings with all sports fans in the country, especially squash, on the success of the former national squash queen, Datuk Nicol Ann David who was just crowned as the Greatest Athlete of All Time, yesterday. The victory proves that her contribution, sweat and action all this while has continued to be noticed by the world, even though the former world number one player for 109 consecutive months has hung up her racquet. I hope Nicol’s success will motivate all Malaysians to fight and make the country proud in any field they are involved in. To the young generation who are just getting used to this sport and the upcoming players who are still developing their performance, use Nicol’s success as a fuel to go further.”
How does the online poll voting works? The world games greatest athlete of all time award represents 23 past and present athletes from all editions of the World Games’ in 40 years of history. The list includes athletes from various sports. In total, 1,204,637 votes were cast for the worldwide poll which led to Nicol earning the number one spot for the award. She obtained the majority votes after winning eight world titles between 2005 and 2014. Altogether, Nicol has a record-breaking of 108 months in a row before retiring in 2019.
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