In another feather to Rafael Nadal’s cap, the Spaniard has been conferred with the Grand Cross of the Order of Dos de Mayo of the Community of Madrid.
The honor was in recognition of Nadal’s stupendous records in tennis, his merits as a person and his values.
The award was presented by Isabel Dias Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, at a glittering event at the Royal Post Office, headquarters of the regional government.
The president of the community said the award was a symbol of recognition for Nadal’s “enormous sporting record and his extraordinary merits as a person.”
“We have before us the best athlete of all time, with values, in addition, such as humility, effort, discipline and respect for the rival,” Ayuso said.
Nadal dedicated the award to the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and their families in his homeland.
“I am not exaggerating if I say that it has affected us all in one way or another, but I want to send a message of encouragement to the families who have lost a loved one,” Nadal said.
“And I wanted to dedicate a few words to the health personnel, especially those in Madrid, very punished in the first wave, and to the State Forces and Security, thank you,” the Spaniard said.
He said, “It is an honor to receive this award and I want to share it with all the citizens of Madrid. I always receive a special affection from everyone here. In sports, in this city all sport is supported.”
Nadal hoped that his city and the world, in general, will soon be able to rise from the pandemic.
“(This) terrible pandemic will soon be part of memory and we can return to share and enjoy the things that have always made us happy as soon as possible. Soon we will celebrate things as before,” Nadal said.
On the career front, the Spaniard had an underwhelming ATP season but did win his 20th Grand Slam at the French Open this year.
(All quotes have been translated)