Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and American Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin have been named Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
Vettel, 26, was recognised after earning a fourth consecutive title in 2013.
Four-time Olympic champion Franklin, 18, was rewarded for her ground-breaking six world championship golds.
"It's a big honour and one of the most special trophies I have received," Vettel said.
He was presented with the award by former motor racing world champion Emerson Fittipaldi.
The German, in Kuala Lumpur ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, beat athletes Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, American basketball star LeBron James and tennis player Rafael Nadal to the prize.
Franklin was picked ahead of Serena Williams and Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and received her accolade from swimming legend Mark Spitz.
Nottingham-born British BMX champion Jamie Bestwick, 32, was named world action sportsperson of the year at Wednesday's ceremony, which was hosted by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Marie Bochet, the French paralympic skier, was named sportsperson of the year with a disability,
Bayern Munich won world team of the year after the German side completed a treble by winning the Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup.
MotoGP champion Marc Marquez took the breakthrough of the year prize after winning the title in his debut season.
The awards followed a ballot by the world's media, with the winners voted for by the Laureus World Sports Academy, which is made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all-time.
Tributes were paid to missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at the event in Kuala Lumpur.