The year 2020, which ends today, has been marked by the tragic coronavirus pandemic that has changed our lives forever. A year in which values such as solidarity, effort, discipline or the ability to overcome are more necessary than ever. And more commendable. And these values are precisely those that reward Prensa Ibérica and its sports newspaper Sport in the third edition of the Values de l’Esport gala. A wide jury, headed by the director of Sport, Albert Sáez; the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, and the president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, have decided to award the Values de l’Esport 2020 awards to Rafa Nadal, as a male athlete; Carolina Marín, as a female athlete, and Leo Messi, as an international athlete.
Nadal, according to the jury’s report, “exemplifies the ability to sacrifice throughout his career”, while always transmitting “the values of sportsmanship in all its appearances”. For her part, Carolina Marín has been awarded the prize for “fighting a depression and becoming the number one in the world again”. Finally, Messi (who has just turned 20 at Barça, in an unusual show of loyalty), “has made possible with his donations the construction of the largest oncology pediatric center in the world at the Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu” .
In this third edition of the Values de l’Esport awards, the work of the Foundation of the brothers Pau and Marc Gasol in the fight against childhood obesity has also been recognized through different food awareness programs for children. Very special is the award given by the jury to former Barça player and former coach Juan Carlos Unzué, for his brave battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and his campaign to give visibility to this disease, which went to him. be diagnosed a few months ago.
The prize for the sporting gesture of the year could not be for anyone other than the triathlete Diego Méntrida: the images of the Madrid man in the Santander Triathlon, braking before crossing the finish line to let the British James Teagle pass , whose confusion at the end of the race had made him lose third place, went around the world and were even awarded by the UN.
The jury has also decided to award the Values Llegenda prize to former Barça player Xavi Hernández, who is currently coaching at Qatar’s Al el-Sadd. The jury especially valued Xavi’s example in promoting fair play throughout his career, even in his sporting clashes with Real Madrid.
The Values to the Coach Award has fallen to a myth of the benches like Aíto García Reneses. The current coach of Alba Berlin has been passionately coaching for half a century and at the age of 74 he maintains the same competitive and pedagogical spirit as always.
The Values Award at the Sports Event went to the three major cycling rounds: the Vuelta, the Giro and the Tour. In such a difficult year for the organization of a high-level sports competition, cycling has been able to adapt to the pandemic and get the Vuelta, Giro and Tour to be contested, despite having to modify their different calendars.
Finally, Valencia Basket has been awarded the Club Values Award for its tireless work in promoting basketball among the youngest and its full support for the fans who follow the team.
In total, 10 top-level awards in this third edition of the Values de Sport and Iberian Press Gala. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday 5 January and can be followed, in a different format than usual, conditioned by the health measures arising from the pandemic, through the Gol television channel and the digital editions of all the newspapers of the Iberian Press, from 21.00 hours. Journalist Olga Viza will be in charge of acting as master of ceremonies so that all the winners receive the commemorative sculpture.
With this third edition, the Sports Values Awards Gala reaches the age of majority. Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus, Sport and Premsa Ibérica have considered that this year, more than ever, it was essential to maintain these awards and all necessary logistical efforts have been made to make them possible and the 10 winners receive their award.
The Values Award Gala had already recognized, in its previous editions, athletes of the level of Carlos Sainz, Lydia Valentín, Gemma Mengual and Toni Nadal in 2018 and Javier Fernández, Ana Peleteiro, Robert Moreno and Jorge Sampaoli, in 2019, among others . This third edition of the Sports Values Award and Iberian Press Gala has the collaboration of sponsors such as LaLiga, the Barcelona Zona Franca Consortium, Movistar, Yopro-Danone, Santander and Cupra.
As Javier Moll, president of Premsa Ibérica, said at the gala of the second edition, “sport is humanism, it is virtue, it is education, it is coexistence, effort, talent, teamwork, empathy. It’s a passion and it’s also a dream. And that is precisely what is rewarded.