AS Awards, sport standing up to the covid pandemic

Last night AS presented its annual awards, at a solemn ceremony at the Teatro Real. It was a ‘pandemic version’, with a much reduced number of guests, no dinner, and strict precautions, as has to be the case in this bizarre era we are living through, the end of which does now seem to be in sight. Despite being a reduced version there was the same warmth and emotion as previous editions, as always happens spontaneously in any event where the love of sport is present. And as is so appropriate with Christmas just around the corner. For AS this event, year after year, is the starting gun for the festive season.

Sporting excellence and solidarity in the pandemic

In the great old building in front of the Palacio Real, with the Christmas lights sparkling outside, recognition was given for sporting excellence and also for solidarity to all those, and there are many, who have dedicated themselves in this terrible year to alleviate the catastrophe. Some, such as Gasol or Nadal, raising funds, others enlisting directly in the fight, such as Craviotto, Iker Martínez, Mati Martínez and so many more. But I can say, with no risk of error, that the entire sporting world has faced up to the pandemic, even just by proving that life goes on, heading out against the wind and the tide to make our hours stuck at home less tedious. Every athlete has swum against the tide for us.

A year of sport

Carlos Sainz got the year off to a flying start winning the Dakar, with rumours of a pandemic in the air; Nadal accumulated triumphs; Sevilla repeated their European success; La Vuelta gave an idea of the efficacy of the precautions… All worthy award winners, plus the constant advance of women’s sport (what an up and coming star Raquel Carrera is) and the amazing career of Casillas, who has recently hung his his gloves. And there was a moment of reflection, in memory of two people who left us, the wonderful Robinson - the most Spanish Englishman - and the magical Maradona. All in all, last night was a pleasant event, brilliant in its simplicity, to wish us all a 2021 that is bound to be a success.