Last Wednesday, the 22nd Gala of Sport took place at the Estoril Casino. This was, once again, a moment in which a perspective and validation is created that Portugal is made of exceptional and ambitious athletes. Because sport is not only made up of collective victories, there is also room for individual recognition.
Miguel Oliveira was the great winner of the Best Male Athlete award of 2017. The reason for this attribution? Where to start … This past year, the 23-year-old has won three big wins, nine podiums and two pole positions in the last three races of the championship. After having the prize in hand, Moto2 motorcycle rider speaks.
“It is with great pride that I receive this award today attributed by the Portuguese Sports Confederation, curiously for some years I was elected young man here and who would say that after all these years everyone could get so far in motorcycling.”
He also wishes to thank his family and team, but also to congratulate all the nominees for the title, because “they take the flag of Portugal very high on his back”, he adds.
The Best Female Athlete of 2017 was awarded to Inês Fernandes. The 37-year-old marquee was world champion and 50-kilometer record holder. The athlete marked the story when she finished the race with a world record.
“It’s the reward and I’m very happy because the Portuguese voted for me and acknowledged that what I did was great. In all 50km events, I want to be fighting for the first place. I am doing my job and I will always try to be at the top level to fight for the first place “, says the winner.
In a close contest, Bruno Fernandes was the one who won the Young Promise trophy. This one disputed the prize together with athletes like Frederico Moraia, Nélson Évora, Fernando Pimenta and Ricardinho. The Sporting player exposed his skill and ability throughout a fantastic year that was 2017. In a team led by Jorge Jesus, Bruno Fernandes had a great highlight at the beginning of the season.
Fernando Santos was the great conqueror of the Personality of the Year award. This award goes through the recognition of a certain personality that achieves a greater notoriety of the name of Portugal around the world. This year, the Portuguese national coach who led Portugal to the European football title in 2016 was the outstanding recipient of this prize.
The Benfica Trialto team wins the 2017 Team of the Year award. The team composed of Melanie Santos, Miguel Arraiolos, Vanessa Fernandes and Joao Pereira won the European Champion Clubs’ Cup in Bayoles, Spain. Vanessa Fernandes and João Pereira were the two athletes who received the prize.
“Thanks for the prize, it’s a shame we did not have the whole team here. It was a phenomenal day in a phenomenal event and having Benfica at the top was also special “, confesses the athlete Vanessa Fernandes.
Hélio Lucas was awarded the title of Best Coach. His triumphs are immense … two-time champion of Europe in K1 1,000 meters, world champion in K1 5,000 meters and runner-up world champion in K1 1,000. This does not fail to highlight the merit of the Fernando Pimenta canoist.
“This year we have four European and world medals from Fernando. It is not easy to work an athlete and have the consistency of Fernando. It has had consistency in the last years in which, practically, it is medal in World-wide and Europeans. He’s a super athlete. “
The High Prestige Prize was awarded to the Confederation Director and the Motoring and Karting Federation, Nuno Vilarinho.
The pugilist Jorge Pina is awarded the Ethical Sports Award.