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Carlos Sainz

Princess of Asturias Award for Sports 2020

Speech by Mr. Carlos Sainz Cenamor

Your Majesties,
Your Highnesses,
Fellow Laureates,
Members of the Jury,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the last few days, I have run this speech round and round in my head more times than I have ever run a car round a rally course and finally I have come to the conclusion that today is a day to say THANK YOU.

THANK YOU to the Princess of Asturias Foundation and to all the members of the Jury for granting me such a unique and special Award. I am more than aware of the large number of sportsmen or sportswomen who could be standing here today in my place; so, to have been chosen from among them fills me with a sense of tremendous pride.

THANK YOU to the entire Royal Family for the unconditional support and affection that they have shown sport in general and all Spanish athletes in particular for so many years. Your determination and commitment have been essential to promoting the values of and love for sport in our country, to supporting thousands of young people in their different fields so that our flag may have been hoisted above countless podiums throughout the world. The Royal Household has been and continues to be our finest ambassador.

THANK YOU to all the fans for their passion and unflagging encouragement. In this ever so complicated year, I wish for all Spaniards to participate in this Award and to share with them my feelings of joy and gratitude. Throughout my sporting career, I have experienced difficult moments that I have always managed to overcome thanks to the help and warmth of fans. Any sportsman or sportswoman knows how important the support of their compatriots is and I would even go so far as to hold them to a great extent responsible for my being here today to collect this Award.

THANK YOU to my parents, Antonio and Julita, to whom I send a big kiss from here, for having instilled in me the spirit of self-improvement and for having taught me the importance of personal effort; and to my wife Reyes and my three children, Blanca, Carlos and Ana, who would have liked to be here today accompanying me and who have and will always be my greatest source of motivation. Without your support and understanding, I could not still be competing at 58 years of age; so this Award is as much yours as mine.

And THANK YOU, of course, to all those people and teams that, in one way or another, have formed part of my long professional career, and especially to those closest to me, who have always stood by my side.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to send a message of hope and optimism, especially to the young. Long ago, when I was a youngster, I dreamed of being a racing driver and winning trophies. An ambitious dream, a dream that seemed unattainable. Many years later, that dream lives on more than ever and it is what pushes me to continue competing at the highest level.

From here, I encourage you to pursue your dreams with confidence, to fight for them, to be guided by enthusiasm in your decisions and to make effort, sacrifice and courage your banner. It will not be easy, nothing in life is free; but remember that dreams can be fulfilled and, above all, avoid the feeling of remorse for not having tried. Listen attentively and respectfully to the most veteran among us, whom I also encourage to adapt to the new times and to keep active, enjoying life with passion.

I conclude by congratulating all my fellow Laureates in the different categories and sending all my support to the people who have been affected by this terrible pandemic that, without a doubt, we will manage to overcome together, united and with a sense of responsibility.

Thank you very much.

Translated by Paul Barnes.

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