It all started for Diario AS back in 1967 and ever since there has been a wealth of men and women who have contributed to the success of Spanish sport. To celebrate the 50th anniversary the AS Sport Awards Gala paid tribute to some of the greats.
Rafael Nadal: Award for Best Spanish Sportsman in the last 50 years
A true great with 16 Grand Slams in tennis
Nadal, aged 31 and born in Manacor, is known simply to his compatriots as Rafa. The whole nation took him to their heart over the years as he won title and title, broke records and led his country to victory, always with a smile and charm that drew affection from around the sporting world. His professional trophy haul includes 16 Grand Slams (10 French Open, three US Open, two Wimbledon and one Australian Open), four Davis Cups, two Olympic titles (singles in Beijing 2008, doubles in Rio 2016) and has stood as the number one in his sport, something that returned this year.
Mireia Belmonte: Award for Best Spanish Sportswomen in the last 50 years
Olympic and World champion
Mireia Belmonte (Badalona, 27 years old) never rests on her laurels. It's all about ambition, talent and lots and lots of work. Travelling kilometres, displacing water with her feet and hands as she goes, she has become the only Spaniard ever to win an Olympic gold in swimming (Rio 2016) and managed to close the magic circle by becoming the world champion of the pool (Budapest 2017 ). She also has three other medals from the Games: two silvers and a bronze.
Sebastian Coe: Lifetime achievement award
Legend of athletics and leader of success
Sebastian Coe (born in London in 1961) receive the international prize. His duels with fellow Englishman Steve Ovett at the Moscow Games in 1980, the photo of his finish with arms wide open ahead of the German Straub his rival from Brighton, is an iconic image of the sport. Before that, Ovett had defeated him in the 800m. In Los Angeles 1984, Coe repeated his medal tally. Later, he led the candidature for the 2012 London Games and is now the president of the International Athletics Federation.