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Hicham El Guerrouj

Prince of Asturias Award for Sports 2004

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2004 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, made up of D. José Ángel de la Casa, D. José María Casanovas, D. Juan Antonio Corbalán, D. José María Forte, D. Julián García Candau, D. Juan Antonio Gómez Angulo, D. Miguel Induráin, D.ª María del Carmen Izquierdo, D. Jaime Lissavetzky, D. Antonio Lobato, D. Matías Prats, D. Nemesio Rodríguez López, D. Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, D. José Javier Santos, D. Iñaki Urdangarín, duke of Palma, D. José Luis Vilaseca i Guasch, D.ª Emma Villacieros, chaired by D. Juan Antonio Samaranch, with D. Ignacio Martínez as secretary, has decided to bestow the 2004 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports on the Moroccan athlete Hicham El Guerrouj.

This extraordinary sportsman has reached the pinnacle of success in the World Championships and at the recent Athens Olympic Games, where he won the Gold Medal in the 1,500 and 5,000 metres events, a feat which has only ever been done once before.

The Jury also wishes to highlight, in accordance with the spirit of this award, the firm commitment that El Guerrouj has to sport and society and especially to the young and those most in need. He is at the present time a member of the International Olympic Committee, a post to which he was elected by the Olympic sportsmen and women in Athens.

From the sports point of view, his success represents that of a man who has known how to rebel against misfortune, since winning medals at the highest level of world competition had proved difficult.

El Guerrouj is a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and his contribution to the improvement in Moroccan society is mainly focussed on the fields of health, nutrition and children's development in his country.

The members of the Jury for the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports observed a minute's silence in special memory of Matías Prats Cañete who passed some days ago. Matías Prats was a member of this Jury for two years contributing generosity and high standards and aims.

Oviedo, 15th September 2004

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