MADRID, 20 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) -
King Felipe VI has presented the tennis player Rafa Nadal with the V Camino Real Award, "a very particular recognition and of great significance for Spain", which the Balearic received for "his impeccable and impeccable attitude, not only in the field of sports" and which 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.
"This 5th Camino Real Award, given by the University of Alcalá through its 'Benjamin Franklin' University Research Institute, distinguishes a universal Majorcan and Spaniard, who, due to his impeccable and irreproachable attitude, is an example and, without no doubt, not only in the sports field", assured the monarch during his speech at the event, held in the University Paraninfo, in Alcalá de Henares.
Felipe VI explained that it is "a very particular recognition and of great significance for Spain" and for the country's place "in history". "But it is not often that I am able to present this or any other award to someone as extraordinary as Rafael Nadal Parera. Although, fortunately, I was able to do it on another occasion, and, of course, I hope this is not the last one", he stated. the king.
He also explained that "with this recognition", Nadal "becomes a new link in an excellent chain of Spaniards who, due to their admirable and outstanding work in different areas of society, contribute to promoting and disseminating the best image of Spain in the North American countries".
"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 matches. I had the opportunity or the luck to be able to see him on the spot not long ago in the last Roland Garros final and I want to recover something that I told him then, it is truly wonderful to see him compete and enjoy it", recognized Felipe VI.
The king valued "the importance of sport and the values it transmits", which is why he highlights even more 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 have to admit that it is very difficult not to fall into repetition, but I also think it is necessary and timely to insist on congratulations and recognition of a star athlete who remains humble and simple , but with the ambition to continue working to improve", he commented.
Felipe VI pointed out that "getting to where he is, staying up there for so many years, astonishing and breaking records and continuing to fight, even against himself, is so demanding that it is easy for us not to be fully aware of what it means". "His firmness and determination make millions of compatriots vibrate, but also countless fans from other countries who support and encourage him wherever he wants him to compete," he added.
The award was a sculpture by Carlos Ciriza that "promotes and strengthens the friendship between Spain and the North American nations." "Sculpture with which homage is paid to the Royal Roads that crossed North America and that linked 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 Camino Real de California, 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 Junípero Serra in 1796, another illustrious Majorcan, but in this case from Petra, not from Manacor After this first, another 20 were established along the Camino Real, from present-day San Diego to the San Francisco Solano mission in Sonoma, north of the Bay of San Francisco", deepened Felipe VI.
The monarch used Fray Junípero as "one of 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, surpass goals and receive the admiration of citizens of Mexico, the United States and Canada. That is why we are so happy that the University of Alcalá recognizes with the Camino Real Award to those men and women who continue to proudly carry the name of Spain throughout the territories of North America", he explained.