King Felipe VI highlights Rafael Nadal’s “irreproachable attitude” | Video
King Philip VI gave the tennis player Rafael Nadal the 5th Camino Real Award, “a very particular recognition and of great significance for Spain”, which the Balearic Islander gets for “his impeccable and impeccable attitude not only in the sports field” and that makes him “a new link in the excellent chain of Spaniards” that contributes to “promote and spread the best image” of the country in North America.
The event, held at Auditorium of the University of Alcalá, the Spanish monarch noted:
This 5th Camino Real Award, given by the University of Alcalá through its ‘Benjamin Franklin’ University Research Institute, honors a universal Majorcan and Spaniard who, due to his impeccable and irreproachable attitude, is an example and, without any doubt, not only in the sports field.
Philip VI explained that it isa very particular recognition and of great significance for Spain” and for the country’s place “in history”. “But it’s not often that you get to present this or any other award to someone as extraordinary as Mr. Rafael Nadal Parera. Although, fortunately, I was able to do it on another occasion, and, of course, I hope that this is not the last one, “said the king.
He also explained that “with this recognition”, Nadal “becomes a new link in an excellent Spanish chain who, for his admirable and outstanding work in different spheres of society, they contribute to promoting and disseminating the best image of Spain in the countries of North America”.
He is a very exceptional athlete and person, who has always represented, and continues to do so, Spain with great pride. His spirit of victory and overcoming, even at times when it seems that everything is lost, have mobilized many people in his games. I had the opportunity or the luck to be able to see him on the spot not long ago at the last Roland Garros final and I want to take back something I told him then, it is truly wonderful to see him compete and enjoy it.
The king valued “the importance of sport and the values it transmits”, for which the work that Rafa Nadal does “through his Foundation” with his projects for children and adolescents.
Many things have been said about Rafa, all formidable, and I must admit that it is very difficult not to fall into repetition, but I also think it is necessary and opportune to insist on congratulations and recognition of a stellar athlete who remains humble and simple, but with the ambition to continue working to improve.
Philip VI pointed out that “getting to where he is, staying up there for so many years, astonishing and breaking records and keep fighting, even against himselfis so demanding that it is easy for we are not fully aware of what it entails”.
His firmness and determination make millions of compatriots vibrate, but also countless followers from other countries who support and encourage him wherever he competes.
The award was a sculpture of Carlos Ciriza that “promotes and strengthens the friendship between Spain and the North American nations”. “Sculpture with which homage is paid to the Caminos Reales that crossed North America and that united the Spanish territories to the new world”, he explained. “Congratulations, dear Rafa, for the well-deserved award you receive today,” he added.
“One of them, the California Royal Road, of almost a thousand kilometers and that connected all the Spanish Missions of Alta California. The first of these Missions in what is now United States territory was founded by the Franciscan Junipero Serra in 1796, another illustrious Mallorcan, but in this case from Petra, not from Manacor. After this first, another 20 were established along the Camino Real, from the current San Diego to Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma, north of the Bay of San Francisco”, deepened Felipe VI.
The monarch used Friar Junipero as “one of the many examples of the extensive Spanish presence in the Californian region”. “Names such as Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, Sebastián Vizcaíno, Juan Bautista de Anza, Gaspar de Portolá Rovira or Felipe de Neve appear written, on their own merits, in the history of Spain and the United States,” he said.
“Like them in their respective times and in the most diverse facets, many Spaniards today continue to achieve milestones, exceeding goals and receiving the admiration of citizens of Mexico, the United States and Canada. That is why we are so happy that the University of Alcala recognize with the Camino Real Award those men and women who continue to proudly carry the name of Spain throughout the territories of North America”, he explained.