Fabian Cancellara has been inducted into the Laureus Academy ©Getty Images

Cycling legend Fabian Cancellara has been named as the newest Laureus Academy member at a ceremony to celebrate 10 years of the organisation.

The Olympic champion is the first Swiss to become a member of the Academy after he was inducted at an event in Zurich, which was raising funds for the work Laureus carries out in his homeland.

The 35-year-old was inducted by another Olympic legend, Romania's five-time gold medal winning gymnast Nadia Comăneci, at the event at Dübendorf Air Museum.

He joins "more than 60 of the greatest living sporting legends" in joining the Academy, described as "a unique association" which aims to use the "power of sport to break down barriers, bring people together and improve the lives of young people around the world".

Members regularly visit projects supported by Laureus which allows youngsters to come face to face with sporting heroes.

Cancellara, a Laureus Ambassador since 2009, finished his career in stunning fashion earlier this year when he won the Olympic gold medal in the time trial at Rio de Janeiro.

It was his second Olympic time trial gold, the first coming in Beijing in 2008, where he also won the silver medal in the road race.

Cancellara has also won the time trial in the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Championships on four occasions and boasts an outstanding record in the Tour de France, with eight stage wins and 29 career yellow jerseys.

"When I was competing I was always looking for things I could do to help," said Cancellara.

"Sport has given me so much, now I want to give something back, to disadvantaged or underprivileged children or children in general."

Fabian Cancellara won two Olympic gold medals during his career, including the time trial event at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Fabian Cancellara won two Olympic gold medals during his career, including the time trial event at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"Sport to me is the school of life. 

"It teaches you how to win and how to lose, respect, discipline, humility and kindness. 

"That’s why Laureus Sport for Good is the perfect match for me, as it is using sport to end discrimination and disadvantage.

"After my involvement as an ambassador, I’m ready to get more involved and help where I can in the future."

Laureus' efforts in Switzerland currently help more than 10,000 children every year in four sports-based community projects around the country.

In its first decade, it has helped to improve the lives of more than 60,000 children.

"Fabian is a great Swiss sporting hero, so this is absolutely the perfect place to introduce him as a new member of the Laureus World Sports Academy," said Comăneci.

"His achievements over the years have made him a massive international figure and it is a great pleasure for me to welcome him into the Laureus Family."