From Javier Mariscal to Lydia Valentín
Last night, just like every year, was one of the most pleasant evenings of the year for us: the AS Gala, when old friends get together and we acknowledge our best sportsmen and women. In what was an Olympic year, the majority of the awards went to our delegation in Rio, athletes who delighted us back home with their achievements. The eight gold awards which we presented represent the efforts of an expansive Olympic team who, against all of the most pessimistic forecasts stemming from a financial crisis, which provoked huge cuts in that particular sector, gained unbelievable results. Alejandro Blanco called it a miracle, a miracle of goodwill. We brought the night to a close by the way, with Lydia Valentín, unjustly stripped of medals in previous Games.
It was an emotional way to bring the evening to a close, a dignified ending to an enjoyable event in which we also recognised Bruno Hortelano, as best newcomer, the No.1 season ticket holders at Real Madrid and Atlético as representatives of both sets of supporters who in Milan repeated the civic comportment they showed in Lisbon, Jorge Sampaoli as the best Latin American in Spain over the past 12 months and Luis Suárez, the only Spanish-born player to have won the Ballon d’Or. And prior to all of that, we congratulated Real Madrid, who once more are champions of the world for the fifth time. The table were club veterans were sat received the ovation, in the absence of the team, who started their holidays after the final whistle in Yokohama.
Something else marked last night’s gala: Diario AS entered into our 50th year. During the event we unveiled the commemorative logo, specially commissioned by designer Javier Mariscal, the father of ‘Coby’. That risky and much-debated mascot which Pasqual Maragall gave his backing to, against a lot of opposition, turned out to be the happiest and most profitable in the history of the Olympic Games. For AS, it’s a great honour to have a reference such as Mariscal during our fiftieth anniversary, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of those Olympic Games in Barcelona. Another year passes, but we are enjoying sport more than ever, and that is all thanks to you, the people who follow us.
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