The swimmer Teresa Perales, winner of 27 medals in Paralympic Games, received this Friday in Oviedo the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports 2021 and highlighted in her speech the importance of fighting for what one wants in life, “decisively” and “without waiting” for anyone to say what you can do.

“We do not have to wait for someone to tell us what is going to happen or what we should do. You have to think or dream about it, decide what you want and go for it, decisively, without letting obstacles prevent you. less, try, “said Perales in his speech at the Campoamor theater, where he received a standing ovation in recognition of his brilliant career.

“For being an extraordinary athlete and an icon of the international Paralympic movement, who has configured an exceptional record, only comparable to her deep, active and courageous social commitment and recognizing with this award the effort and ability to overcome an entire group in the world, “said the jury before Perales received the diploma from Princess Leonor, who underlined his” strength, determination and perseverance. “

In addition, Perales also emphasized the importance of continuing to work to achieve equality because “we are still not an ideal society, but now at least we know it and there are many, although not all, of us who strive to improve it and advance it towards equality of all people “.

For his part, King Felipe gave “congratulations” to Perales “for his last medal achieved in Tokyo” and in turn also congratulated all the Spanish Olympic and Paralympic athletes for the past Games and their worthy representation “.

“Teresa Perales is a great, hard-working, brave and admirable person. Her tenacity and her struggle for victory are a paradigm of what it means to be an athlete (…) She is a pride for Spain and an example of overcoming, overcoming all adversities and with enormous willpower. He is an example for millions of people and their family and they see possible the social inclusion of people with disabilities, “added the king.

“This inclusion is more than a concept of that legitimate aspiration. Perales is one of the most outstanding athletes in Spain and a success that today – with her permission – we also do a bit of ours. Thank you for your dedication and your enthusiasm,” said Felipe. SAW.


The 45-year-old Aragonese, last June, became the first athlete with a disability to win this recognition. The jury decided to bet on this candidacy proposed by Gloria Fernández-Lomana, member of the jury for the 2021 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

“Above all, they give it to me to personify it in someone, but I receive it with all the love in the world shared with all Paralympic sports and athletes with disabilities, but also with moms, sports moms and female athletes , that it is difficult for us to find a ‘little hole’ in the media and this gives a very important push, “he remarked in an interview with Europa Press after learning that she was the winner.

This award is one more for his enormous record, where along with his 27 Paralympic medals, the last precisely in Tokyo 2020, a silver in the 50 meters back S5 despite being injured in one shoulder, there are also other recognitions such as the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit.

Turned into an example of improvement for millions of people with disabilities around the world and an icon of international Paralympic sport, the Zaragoza woman began her career in adapted swimming in 1997 and since then she has not stopped winning and getting on the podium.

Thus, to her 7 golds, 10 silvers and 10 bronzes in the six Games in which she has participated (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020), the swimmer with physical disabilities adds 43 medals in European (12 gold, 21 silver and 10 bronze) and 22 in World Cup (4 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze),

“This award was not so much a goal as a dream that has come true. After having been nominated on several occasions, being able to be awarded this year makes me very excited. This year I also did not know that my candidacy was on the table and It was an absolute surprise, one of the most beautiful of my life “, thanked the Aragonese.