Iago Aspas and Laura Vazquez They were recognized yesterday as the best athletes in the city and its area of influence in the year 2022. The Celta footballer and the judoka prevailed among the forty-five candidates proposed by the federations and the jury and received during the Sports Gala that organized by the City Council of Vigo, FARO DE VIGO and Abanca and which yesterday held its twenty-fourth edition in a packed AFundación Theater.
For both, it is the first time they have received the award. In the case of the Celta striker, there is a particularity and that is that Until recently, you could not enter the list of winners because you were not born or registered in one of the municipalities included in the award rules.. But two years ago the bases of the awards were modified with the idea that athletes who, although they are not from Vigo or are not registered in the city, have developed their sports career or leave a deep mark on the city. And it is evident that Iago Aspas meets these characteristics. Including him in the list of winners of this award seemed like an act of common sense. After having once again been the best national scorer last season and equaling Villa’s record for Zarra Trophies, the Sports Gala thus rewards who is undoubtedly the best Celta footballer in its almost hundred-year history. By numbers and by performance. Iago Aspas, however, could not attend the gala to receive the award from him.
In the case of Laura Vazquez The judoka sees an award for a year in which she was able to proclaim herself junior European champion and at the same time add important results in the absolute category, where she has begun to compete with her sights set on joining the list of people from Vigo who attend the Olympic Games. Paris 2024 is her immediate goal. The member of Famu de Frutos is the first athlete who has in her curriculum to have been recognized as the best promising athlete and now in the absolute. Only two years ago she received the award as the best sub19 in Vigo and now she is climbing a step.
During the gala, led in an outstanding way by Carlos Tresandí and animated by the Barafunda group, more than ninety awards were given in their different categories, including fourteen special mentions. During the celebration, the legendary athlete Javier Alvarez Salgado, who played in three Olympic finals between 1968 and 1972 and was one of the greatest of his time, became the third athlete to receive the Luis Miró Award, which rewards the career of a legend and He succeeded Paco Amoedo in this recently created award, who received it a year ago. Carlos Pérez, a teammate and sports battle partner, had been the first to be distinguished with this award two years ago now.
The party was attended by the mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero; the territorial director of Abanca, Walter Alvarez; the general director of Prensa Ibérica in Galicia, Jesús Echevarria; the deputy director general of the Iberian Press in Galicia, Juan Carlos Da Silva; and the director of FARO, Rogelio Garrido. Councilors from the local government, from the opposition, as well as mayors and councilors from different municipalities of the province also attended.
During the interventions, the mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, had a beautiful memory for the figure of Álvarez Salgado when he recalled when in 1972, studying in London, he felt enormous pride when he saw a man from Vigo competing in a final of the 5,000 on television. meters at the Munich Games: “I felt at home at that moment”. But in addition to the anecdote with one of the protagonists of the party, the mayor defended the important role that athletes play in the city and in the construction of many of its values: “It is an important brand, a culture of life. Behind them there is effort, sacrifice, everything that makes it possible for them to be our heroes”. Caballero recalled that the sport “is born from the nobility of the people and every time we meet here we are enormously proud.” Finally, the mayor insisted that sport means “unity and this is a unity project, from a city that loves sport and will always help it.”
For his part, Walter Alvarez, on behalf of Abanca, highlighted the attitude of the athletes, the gratitude he felt for their effort and example, and the responsibility to try to help them as much as possible. He ratified the bank’s commitment to the athletes and the clubs, thanked all those who surround the athletes for their dedication and asked them to never give up and persevere in the effort to set an example for all citizens.
Finally, Rogelio Garrido, director of Faro de Vigo, recalled through a personal experience the unique nature of sport, its ability to build “families” united by those invisible ties that only the practice of sport in common is capable of providing. .
Laura Vázquez: “This award means a lot”
only twenty years old Laura Vazquez She is a “veteran” at the Sports Gala as she has been awarded several times, although yesterday she won the award for the best absolute athlete in the female category for the first time. Emotional after learning of the jury’s decision, the Famu judoka explained that “it means a lot to me because I want to carry the name of Vigo and Galicia all over the world.” She thanked the help of her coaches, Laura Bajo and Marcial Romero, as well as Mario Muzas, president of the Galician Judo Federation, for helping her in her career, although she had a loving message for her family: “There are many people behind… my parents, my sister, my physiotherapist, my psychologist. I get on the mat to hit my rivals but there are many who help me to do so”. And with her sister Irene among the list of winners in the promise category, she showed her desire to “be together collecting prizes.”
Aspas: “Feeling valued by my family makes me very excited”
Iago Aspas He could not attend the Sports Gala held yesterday at the Afundación Theater where for the first time he received an award that the change in the statutes a few years ago allows him to receive. Celtic striker top national scorer last season in the First Division and flag of the Vigo team in the last five years, he sent a message in which he stated that “I want to thank the Vigo Sports Gala for remembering me.
One is always excited to be rewarded in their land, feeling valued by my family is very important”. Aspas pointed out that “although I am a proud Moañé, it is evident that my career has developed in Vigo and that I feel very close to the city. That is why I am very grateful to be part of the list of winners of this award”.
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