Rafael Nadal Acknowledges Victims of COVID-19 Pandemic After Being Honored by Another Prestigious Award

Published 01/06/2021, 1:17 AM EST
Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi-final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Toby Melville


2020 was a tough year for everyone. The coronavirus pandemic swept through the world, causes huge losses of life. Doing his bit during this hard time, World No. 2 and 20-time Grand Slam champ Rafael Nadal laid the foundation of positivity as he was conferred with the Sports Values Award by Spanish media outlet Diario Sport.

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For an online gala event, Nadal joined in from his home and spoke a few words about the responsibility and values all elite athletes hold. Positivity was the motto for Nadal as he congratulated other winners of the awards, which included soccer star Lionel Messi and badminton ace Carolina Marin. He said:

“Well, good to everyone, I am very excited to receive this award from Diario Sport, that is not only focused on sporting merits but also on the values ​​that we can represent as athletes… I also do want to take the opportunity to congratulate the rest of the winners, thanks to all of you for representing the world of sport in such a positive way.” 

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(Quotes have been translated from Spanish using Google Translate)

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning the French Open 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Nadal acknowledged the loss the world has faced due to COVID-19 and that slowly the world will come up again. 2020 was a tough year, and thus Nadal felt that sport played a huge part in bringing hope to people. He said:

“Perhaps it is not the year that we will remember in our lives due to the issue of the virus that has resulted in a brutal health crisis, but also a social and economic crisis. Let’s trust that little by little we can get out of this problem that is hitting us in such a strong way.”

Rafael Nadal on the role sports plays to bring in positivity and hope

Sport has the power to transmit hope in society, and various sports stars have the responsibility to bring in positivity with their craft. The award probably symbolizes this fact, and Nadal also recognized this. He said:

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“I believe that sport somehow has a little bit of this flag to convey hope and transmitting positive values ​​for society… For this reason, I am especially excited that Diario Sport has thought of me as a positive reference to these values. So thank you very much and we hope that next year at the gala we can already be in person as we all wish.”

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his group stage match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Tennis will hopefully move forward positively in 2021. Slowly we may return to our old normal, where we can have a full crowd in the stadiums and players can play without restrictions. As Nadal said, we need hope and thus the Spaniard will try his best as an elite athlete to bring a change to the world.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1088 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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