Mireia Belmonte Receives Award For Greatest Spanish Sports Woman in the Last Half Century

Photo Courtesy: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte received the award for the finest Spanish sportswoman in the last 50 years, an award that had legendary tennis player Rafael Nadal as its male recipient. The award was presented at the 50th anniversary of Diario AS, a major newspaper in Spain. Belmonte told the newspaper before receiving the award,

“To be honest, I’m immensely proud that a media outlet such as this newspaper, with its long history delivering sports news, has recognized me. All I say is Thank You, with all of the humility of a sportswoman who has tried to aspire to the peak of my sport throughout my career. I hope I can be a dignified example for all that AS has recognized me for.”

The lifetime achievement award went to British track champion Sebastian Coe. The event took place in Madrid, where the newspaper was launched 50 years prior.

The event was hosted by AS Editor Alfredo Relaño and by his side was Juan Luis Cebrián, president of PRISA, the publisher of this newspaper; Manuel Polanco, vice president of PRISA and Manuel Mirat, CEO of Prisa and president of AS.

Belmonte is the only Spanish female swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming when she won the 200 fly in Rio. She has also won three other Olympic medals, including a silver in the 800 free and 200 fly in 2012 and a bronze in the 400 IM in 2016. She is also a multi-time World Championship medalist, picking up her latest gold in the 200 fly in 2017.

Belmonte was the female recipient of the “best Spanish sportswoman in history” award while tennis champion Nadal was the male recipient.

“He’s a reference as a sportsman and as a person,” Belmonte said in her interview. “His playing out on the tennis court has put him among the very best, but it’s his sporting and personal values which have pushed him and enabled him, to become the best, without any doubt.”

Belmonte said in an interview with the newspaper that she is aiming for the European Championships in Glasgow as her peak meet in 2018, which will take place in early August.

To read her full interview, click here.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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