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AS begins 50th anniversary celebrations

AS reaches its 49th birthday next month (December 2016), or that is to say, we’ll shorty be entering our semi-centennial year. The first act that we had planned to commemorate this time and to look forward to what is still to come was celebrated yesterday at the headquarters of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE). It was the Forum of Sports Events, which has taken over the tradition of our beloved Ferrándiz Forum, where many sport issues were discussed. This new two-day event convenes twelve initiatives focusing on the sporting phenomenon and bringing together organizers and sponsors in an attempt to decipher the world that makes sport possible.

Alfredo Relaño at the Forum of Sports Events

The sporting phenomenon

It is the sport of sportsmen and women, of course. They are the ones who capture our admiration and devotion and they are the ones who put upon themselves the drudgery and constant effort of daily training, come rain or shine, the bitter cold or searing heat, and have to put up with both boredom and pain. On them rests the responsibility to fulfill our dreams or take our criticism. That's just how it is. But behind them there are armies of anonymous organisers and sponsors who also make the sporting phenomenon possible, creating the conditions for athletes to express themselves. We talked about all that yesterday at the COE during the opening of our new Forum.

How will sport fare in new government? 

I had the pleasure of inaugurating the event alongside Alejandro Blanco, our host, and Miguel Cardenal. At the same time the presentations were taking place, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave birth to his new government, one in which he maintained the man in charge of Culture and Sports, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo. While the minister is a convinced European, something which I align myself with, I don’t know whether he cares as much about sport as other things. Since he replaced former minister José Ignacio Wert in 2015, he hasn’t shown any greater enthusiasm for the subject. Let’s see if it encourages him to think that sport was born in Europe and contributed to its identity.