Rafael Nadal is the Laureus 2021 World Sportsman of the Year!
Rafael Nadal accepted the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award for all he achieved in 2020: not only a 13th French Open title and 20th Grand Slam championship, pulling level with his friend and rival Roger Federer, but also leading on one of the most impressive and significant Covid responses from any athlete. Nadal partnered with Pau Gasol, the former NBA star, to launch #NuestraMejorVictoria (Our Greatest Victory), a campaign to encourage those within sport, starting in Spain, to lend their support to the Red Cross Responds campaign.
Its aim was to raise €11million to help citizens who were in need during the pandemic, but in June 2020 Nadal announced that the money raised exceeded €14million.
He said: “Between us all, we have managed to do something important and beautiful. Not only the money raised, which exceeded €14m, but also the solidarity and teamwork shown during difficult times.”
At the same time, the Rafael Nadal Foundation worked to adapt around the pandemic, using the Foundation centres in Palmas and Valencia to provide sports-centred educational resources to children in disadvantaged areas. “We believe in the power of sport and education to create opportunities for these children,” said Nadal as he received his Award
“Winning the French Open and equalling the 20th Grand Slam of Federer has been an unforgettable moment,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to equal my great rival, but at the same time, my great friend. It’s something very special after all the history we have had together on and off court.
“The pandemic that we are facing is something unprecedented and I want to send a message of support to all the families that have suffered or lost somebody.”