G4S 4teen Ambassador awarded Prince of Asturias Award
The award is one of the most prestigious prizes that exists for sport in the world and is considered to be a sporting equivalent to the Nobel Prize for Spanish speaking countries. It is awarded by the Prince of Asturias Foundation to individuals, entities or organizations from around the world, who make notable achievements in a number of categories, including sport, science, humanities and public affairs.
The jury has decided to confer the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports to the Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebrselassie for his sporting and human excellence. Considered the best distance runner of all time, his own people called him “Naftanga,” which means “The Chief”.
Raised on a farm, he had to travel twenty kilometres each day to school, a circumstance that served as his training and influenced the way he runs: with his left arm crooked as if still holding his schoolbooks. He always ran the most demanding of races with a permanent smile on his face. The athlete is also involved in humanitarian and mediation work in the many conflicts that have raged for years in Ethiopia.
Past recipients of the award have included Sergei Bubka, Hicham El Guerrugh, Hasiba Boulmerka, Sebastian Coe, Carl Lewis, Fernando Alonso, Rafael, Nadal, and the Brazilian Football Team. The award ceremony will be tonight in the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo in attendance of the Prince and Princess of Asturias.
The work that Haile does with the G4S 4teen athletes demonstrates what a difference he has made to so many individuals around the world and is a great example of how he uses his talents to help others. We congratulate him in receiving this great honour.
Haile will return to the UK this weekend, where he will participate in the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday.