OLYMPIC gold medallist Sally Pearson is among eight athletes nominated for the 2012 Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award.
Sally Pearson moved to the Gold Coast when she was eight years old.
It was there, while she was still in primary school, that her athletic talents were noticed by Sharon Hannan, who remains her coach to this day.
Pearson rose to prominence in 2001, when at the age of only 14, she won the Australian under-20 100m title.
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, Pearson tripped over a hurdle and fell to the ground during the 100 m hurdles final, costing her the chance of a medal.
In 2007 she continued to pursue both the 100 m and the 100 m hurdles, making the semi-final of each event at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
However in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games, she shifted her focus solely to the 100 m hurdles. This decision paid off, with Pearson claiming the silver medal in a dramatic final.
The others in the hunt for the award are: British track-and-field star Jessica Ennis, US tennis ace Serena Williams, Kiwi shot putter Valerie Adams, Jamaican sprinter Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Japanese wrestler Saori Yoshid, US athlete Allyson Felix and swimmer Missy Franklin.