The AEPD National Sports Gala awards the greatest successes of Spanish sport in 2022


Soccer player Alexia Putellas, the basketball and water polo teams, canoeing, former karate athlete Sandra Sánchez, former swimmer Michelle Alonso and Real Madrid were some of the winners this Monday at the XLII National Sports Gala of the Spanish Sports Press Association (AEPD), which was held in the pavilion of the Camilo Cano Sports City in La Nucía (Alicante) and which recalled the great successes of Spanish sport in 2022.

The AEPD awarded in this act the most outstanding athletes, federations and clubs in 2022. After hosting it in 2015 and 2019, this was the third time that La Nucía hosted this National Gala of the organization chaired by Julián Redondo, which in this 2023 has the collaboration of the Town Hall of the town and the Diputación de Alicante.

The winners included FC Barcelona soccer player Alexia Putellas, twice winner of the Ballon d’Or and one of the major absentees; the Olympic, European and world karate champion in the kata modality, Sandra Sánchez; the athlete Raquel González, European runner-up in the 35-kilometre walk; former swimmer Michelle Alonso, triple Paralympic champion, who has announced her withdrawal from high competition.

Also awarded were Saúl Craviotto, Carlos Arévalo, Marcus Cooper and Rodrigo Germade, canoeing world champions who make up the Spanish K-4; the Spanish men’s basketball team for winning the Eurobasket for the fourth time in its history and the water polo teams, the men’s team for its third world gold medal in Budapest and the women’s team, for revalidating the European title in Split.

As for the football clubs, the winners were Real Madrid, winner of the Champions League and LaLiga Santander, Real Betis, champion of the Copa del Rey. FC Barcelona was also recognized for the ‘Champions’ titles in handball and futsal.

Among the organizations, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Royal Spanish Skating Federation (RFEP) were awarded for the world titles of the women’s under-20 and under-17 teams, and for the medals won in the Championship of World in Argentina, respectively.


Cycling also had a special role due to the recognition of Abraham Olano, the first Spanish world champion in history; Óscar Freire, the only Spanish rider to have won the rainbow jersey three times; and Samuel Sánchez, the only Spanish road cycling Olympic gold medalist, achieved at the Beijing Games in 2008.

One of the most special awards, the Human Values ​​award, was given to the coach Andrea Fuentes, who sent a thank you video for her rescue of the synchronized swimmer Anita Álvarez, who fainted during her exercise at the Swimming World Cup. and fell unconscious at the bottom of the pool.

The Sports Medicine award went to Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro, doctor of the tennis player Rafa Nadal and of the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET); while El Corte Inglés collected the Loyalty Trophy for being the longest-running sponsor of the AEPD. The gala also had its emotional moment with the heartfelt memory of the late José Luis Mendoza, president of the UCAM, for his commitment to Spanish athletes and his training.

“Congratulations for this excellent gala, for the quantity and quality of the athletes, the winners and for the site, La Nucía, where sport goes beyond this Sports City because it is a philosophy of life,” said Alejandro Blanco, president of the COE, in his closing speech.

The leader remarked that “extraordinary athletes” had come up on stage, but that we must not forget “those who do not get on the podium and the families and the environment because without them it is impossible to achieve a victory”, and he celebrated that he is living ” magical moments of Spanish sport” thanks to the fact that it has “great athletes, coaches, clubs, a great federative structure and a great sports press”.

“We have legendary athletes in the world, but to bring their successes to society we need journalists, who must know the sport, have commitment, but above all, have a passion for the sport. We have to acquire a commitment. We all fight for a Spain is better and there are no better ambassadors than athletes, and for that we need journalists. Athletes and journalists must be the engines of that egalitarian, inclusive Spain, without challenges and without limits,” Blanco stated.


On the other hand, on Tuesday, March 28, the LIX National Congress of the Spanish Sports Press Association (AEPD) will be held at the Auditori de La Nucía, which will bring together a hundred sports journalists from all over Spain. During it, the presentation of the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Ángel María Villar, is scheduled.