The president led the ceremony of the National Sports Award and National Sports Merit Award 2015.
· The government has assumed its responsibility, promotingtransformations that will put us in a better position to cope with adversity,he said.
· He expressed his gratitude to JoséSulaimán Chagnon, who received the National Sports Merit Award 2015posthumously.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said todaythat, “As in sport, Mexico is a country determined to improve its performance,to be better, to excel and to distinguish itself in the world’s eyes, and weare doing this, the world is acknowledging this.”
On the Francisco I. Madero esplanade inthe official residence of Los Pinos, where he led the ceremony for the NationalSports Award and the National Sports Merit Award 2015, the president stressedthat, “This government has assumed its responsibility, it has driven changesand transformations that have put us in a better position to face thevicissitudes of fate, the changes of fortune that the world offers today, theadversity we are experiencing.”
He added that as in any sport, “We arepreparing, we are, in fact, better prepared and trained and in a strongerposition to cope with adverse scenarios, stand out, distinguish ourselves and,above all, continue to build a Mexico with greater opportunities, betterconditions and greater prosperity for Mexican society.”
"Thatis our goal, that is what we are focusing our work on and as in any sportsdiscipline, we will have to succeed in winning medals, not for the government,not for the president but for all Mexicans and for the good of Mexicansociety,” he said.
The president declared that what hisgovernment has been promoting is, “To help Mexico move and strengthen itsability to give more to Mexican society, and to harvest the benefits we haveachieved in the past decades in which we have evolved to a country in harmony,with social peace, a country with institutions that has been built precisely toboost opportunities for all Mexicans.”
Stating that, “The government is veryclear about its commitment to continue to support our athletes in their activities, theirefforts and their dedication,” the president declared that the head of theNational Commission of Physical Culture and Sport has been tasked with usingall the capabilities and resources of the government assigned to sport in a waythat will best serve, prepare and train athletes.
He declared that in 2015, publicspending on sport amounted to more than seven billion pesos, “That's theinvestment we will be making in sport,” he said, adding that, “It is asignificant investment which, properly used, properly assigned and properlyfocused, will undoubtedly bear greater fruits and bring greater glory tonational sport.”
He announced that agreements have beensigned with Cuba and China to have the support of 46 Cuban and 23 Chinese coaches to improve thetraining of high-performance athletes.
Likewise, in order to expand andstrengthen sports infrastructure nationwide, 20 sports units are currentlybeing remodeled or built in 12 states in Mexico.
MEXICANATHLETES SHOW THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO OVERCOME ANY BARRIERS OR OBSTACLES
The president expressed his gratitude toJosé Sulaimán Chagnon, who received the posthumous National Sports Merit Award2015, “For everything he did to promote boxing in Mexico and the world,” whenhe served as President of the World Boxing Council for nearly four decades,,driving visionary changes that gave rise to a new era in professional boxing,he added.
I was excited to hear what he said inthe video we have just seen: his pride at being Mexican, his acknowledgement ofthis country and the acknowledgement of what this country can provide for itsown glory precisely through its children, Mexican men and women who havedistinguished themselves in various fields,” he said.
He told Mexican athletes that throughtheir victories in various sports they have proved that it is possible, thatwhen there is a will and a passion to do things, there is a way and that it ispossible to overcome any barrier or obstacle.
He stressed that one of the virtuesMexican athletes have shown in recent years is their desire and ability tooutdo themselves and their desire to become the best in the world. Those who havewon prizes today, he continued, “Are precisely an example of the fact that in Mexico, it is possible to find talent, tobe talented, to compete with anyone in the world and to win by being betterthan them.”
He noted that the awards presented todayare a recognition of their discipline, dedication and sacrifice in order tostand out and excel in the various competitions.
“It is because they have put theirbodies and souls into training and excelling in different disciplines. That is why, aspresident, it is a great honor and a great distinction for me to be the one togive you this recognition, this well-deserved recognition for your dedicationand work, for honoring Mexico and taking the colors of our flag to the variousdisciplines,” he said.
At the ceremony, the president presentedthe National Sports Award 2015 in the category of Non-Professional Sports toSaul Gutiérrez Macedo for Taekwondo and to Crisanto Grajales Valencia for thetriathlon.
In professional sports, Gustavo AlfonsoAyón Aguirre won the prize for basketball; in Paralympic Sport, Edith NelyMiranda Herrera won the swimming award, and Amalia Perez Velazquez won thepowerlifting prize. In the trainers’ category, the winners were EugenioAdrián Chimal Dominguez, triathlon coach, and José Raúl Peláez Ampudia, swimcoach in Paralympic sport.
The National Sports Merit Award 2015 forOutstanding Performance and Career in Mexican Sport was presented to GuillermoEchevarría y Pérez in Swimming; while the posthumous Award for theEncouragement, Protection and Promotion of Sports, was presented to JoséSulaimán Chagnón.
ORDERAND THE RIGHT OF ATHLETES AT THE CENTEROF THE TRANSFORMATION AND MODERNIZATION OF ORGANIZED SPORT: ALFREDOCASTILLO
Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, DirectorGeneral of the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sport, said thatthis institution has placed order and the rights of athletes at the center ofthe transformation and modernization of organized sport.
This has been done, he said, “Throughthe effective, efficient use of public resources; transparency and access tosport; through investment in public sports facilities and the reorganization ofthe National Skills System to address shortcomings in the care and training of our children andour youth.”
It has also been done, he added,“Through the commitment of the Mexican state and institutions, all of which arelinked to the National Sports System.”
He said that the National Sports Awardand the National Sports Merit Award 2015 are designed to celebrate andrecognize the most outstanding heroes and athletes, not only those who excel incompetition but also those who train and help them with their knowledge, inthis case, the trainers.
Likewise, he said, “We also acknowledgethe men and women who have dedicated their whole lives to sport, Mexicans whohave become institutions.”
He said that the National Sports Awardis the symbolic act whereby the Mexican government recognizes those who havebeen able to outdo themselves every day and every night, meeting the challengeof discipline, continuity, repetition and routine, which shapes the skills andphysical and mental strengths that makes them the best in a country, acontinent or the world.
WEHAVE THE HEART AND COURAGE TO FACE WORLD-CLASS ADVERSARIES: NELYMIRANDA
On behalf of the winners, Nely EdithMiranda Herrera, National Sports Award 2015 winner in the discipline ofswimming, said that Mexican athletes, “have the heart and courage to face worldclass adversaries,” and asked President Enrique Peña Nieto to continue tosupport them, “As he has done so far.”
Likewise, she said: “Do not abandonus. We and you havethe name of Mexico tattooed on our minds, let us fight for Mexico together.”
She told the president: “It is clearyou are driving a change in the country,” noting that, “Many things are neededfor this change, but above all, we need to work as a team.”
In this regard, she, “Called on thewhole sports family to unite, to take Mexican sport to the levels it deserves.”She urged the athletes gathered on the Francisco I. Madero esplanade at theofficial Los Pinos residence: “To show that even though the outlook seems bleak,Mexican sport is able to unite and set an example of teamwork to all of Mexicansociety.”
She explained that, “We are a communityof athletes who have believed in the government .” We have felt your supportbecause with the resources you have provided, we can train and be in a positionto compete in search of glory and say we represent Mexico.”
She said that in the Toronto 2015Parapan Am Games, she won six medals in six events, four gold and two silver,as well as breaking American records and one world record. “Achievingthese goals requires absolute, unrestricted support without politicizingsports,” she said.
“Let this be quite clear,” she said,“None of those of us who are here live in the past or on the basis of ourmemories. I think we willall continue working hard for Rio de Janeiro, which is our main objective. We are doingthis in your presence. It encourages us to keep working harder.”
She hoped that Mexican athletes wouldreach Rio 2016, “Strong and wellprepared,"”because, she said, Those of us who are here are hungry andthirsty to succeed and give our best.”