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Rafael Nadal

Prince of Asturias Award for Sports 2008

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, made up of Rogelio Blanco, José María Casanovas, Enrique Castro, María Escario, Misael Fernández Porrón, Antonio Galeano, Julián García Candau, Eduardo Inda, Luis Infante, María del Carmen Izquierdo, Jaime Lissavetzky, Javier Muñoz, Santiago Nolla, José Ramón Pindado, Matías Prats, Nemesio Rodríguez, Arancha Sánchez Vicario, José Javier Santos, Alejandro Sopeña, Javier Tola, José Luis Vilaseca, Emma Villacieros, Juan Yeregui, chaired by Juan Antonio Samaranch, Marquis of Samaranch, with Ignacio Martínez as secretary, has decided to bestow the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports on the tennis player Rafael Nadal.

The Jury has prized the merits of the sportsman: in Grand Slam competitions, his fourth French Open title and his first Wimbledon victory, thereby becoming the number one tennis player in the world and, in this Olympic year, also obtaining the gold medal in Beijing.

Rafael Nadal is an example to follow. Both in his victories and in the very few occasions when he is defeated, he shows great sportsmanship. The way he reacts after a victory and the way he highlights the merits of his opponents is particularly admirable. He has also recently established a charitable foundation bearing his name which focuses on social work among disadvantaged groups and cooperation for development.

The Prince of Asturias Award laureate for Sports was one of the major figures at the Beijing Olympic Games, along with Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva, three of the final candidates for said Award.

The Jury has valued Rafael Nadal's contribution to the excellent year that Spanish Sport has enjoyed in 2008, achieving three major international prizes in different disciplines.

Oviedo, 3rd September 2008

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