Olympics: Flag ceremony translated
Melissa sent this in the other day, but I didn’t have time to get it posted. Sadly, we know this isn’t going to happen and I almost didn’t post it. But then I thought it would be good to remind everyone (self included) of what this meant to Rafa; he loves the spirit of sport so much. I’m trying to remind myself that while said spirit will be diminished a bit by his absence, but it will still be there and still be something to celebrate.
Translation by Ericka Domenzain
(presentation of Rafael Nadal as Spanish flagbearer at 2012 Olympic Games)
Journalist: “We are going to see the one who could easily be the best sportman of all times and who will represent all the Spanish Olympic team. We are still 13 days away from the opening. Rafa Nadal, who has got everything he wanted in the tennis world, will be honored by holding the flag. We also remember him winning that gold medal in Beijing in 2008. He has been chosen then to be the man in front not only because he is a great sportman, but also for being a great person, and he will be representing the whole country … We are going to rememeber the ones who have been holding the flag through the years…
“It has been very exciting to see this video with all those people, and Rafa Nadal here saw all the video, too. Now he knows how importnat it will be for him and us that he is the man in charge of the flag this London 2012. (she presents all the sportmen and they go onstage) About Rafa Nadal, we all knew Secretly that he was going to be the one this year. No one was surprised when he was voted by everyone to be the one in charge. He is the most important tennis player in Spanish history, he has the support of all our Olympic team.”
(Rafa says in the video): “It will be an honor for me to be in front holding the flag, and I want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity. It is a reward for my career. A hug to everyone. ;)
Journalist: “As we said before, Rafa was voted to be the one because of his career and how he is as a person. … We have here the flag and we will see whether Rafa can hold the racquet as well as he holds the flag. I think he will — he has time to rehearse how to hold it, so we have everything, we are just missing the man who will hold it! So, please welcome Rafa Nadal!”
[Rafa comes on stage]
Journalist: “Rafa, we know how good you are with the racquet, but with the flag, it is something very strong, it means a lot. How will you handle it?”
RAFA: “Well, it is exciting. And to see the video was also exciting. I guess when the time comes I will be nervious, but of course my visualization will overcome eveything. :)
“Good morning, everyone. :) Thanks, everyone, for coming — authorities, friends of sport, everyone — all the audience, the different communications media. I cannot say more than what I have said since I heard the news … It will be a very special moment for me. All I can do is to thank all the federations for giving me the opportunity to do this in London.
“The Olympic Games are the most important event for any sport and any sportsmen/women. It is a dream for any sportsman to get there. I did it in Athens 2004, but I do not have a lot of memories because I arrive on the last plane and then I came back the following day. Then in Beijing, I had the opportunity to get there a week before and be able to really live all the Olympic Games since the beginning in the Olympic Village and get together with the whole team. I could discover the Olympic spirit, and, as I have said before, it was the most special event in my life, and I hope I can get that again this year.
“. . . I hope we can get together and I want to wish all the team the best in these games, and I hope that Spain continues going the way we have done and get medals! I have to thank also all the Spanish commitee for all the things they do for us, the sportsmen, all the support that they give all the players and the benefits they give the ones who are trying to win something. I really want to thank you and to tell you all your help is highly appreciated.
” . . . I want to thank again everyone. I know it will be something unforgettable for me. I´ll see you in London! Thank you very much.”
Journalist: “There are many pics to take but this one is the one we need to see: look at Rafa Nadal holding the flag! . . . We have said that Rafa Nadal is for many of us the best sportsman in all Spanish history, of all times, and he is only 26 years old, he still has much more to offer. Let´s see what he has already achieved: He is now 3rd in the world (just for a little while, because he will be number one soon, that´s what we all want); we just celebrated with him his 7th RG, his 21 Masters (including 8 in Rome, in Monte Carlo 6); 7 victories in Barcelona; 17 ATP titles, 4 Davis Cups — It is always very important for him to represent his country and he does that in Davis Cup competition. Also, he will be defending that gold medal he got in Beijing.
“What a wonderful world of sports it is to have people like Rafa being around … Rafa, let´s talk to you, how are your knees?”
Rafa: “I hope well, I am trying day by day to recover. It was evident that after RG I had had some troubles with them, but, well — I am very excited to be in London, so I am doing extreme work to recover. I hope I can be at 100% to compete.”
Journalist: “How intimidating is that number one of Federer, as you play again in the grass of Wimbledon?”
Rafa: “Well, all the opponents are important, and when we go out in court with the best ones you know anything can happen, either you can lose or you can win, you have to accept both ways. My career has been with ups and downs, and there have been victories and losses, and there will come more losses and wins. We have to accept that.”
Journalist: “Rafa, you have won everything, and you have always said that competing for your country is the most important thing for you in the Olympic Games. I have also read that this London will be the most difficult thing for your career to defend this gold medal now…”
Rafa: “It is, absolutely, sure. It will be the most difficult title. In any sport it is important and the times of competing in Olympic Games is short, but for a tennis player the maximum number of times you can play is 3. … I think playing well it would be 2 times, and if you are lucky with your age and your body maybe 3 times, not more. So, in your career you have a lot of opportunities, but in the Olympic Games you have just a few. I feel very lucky that I was good in Beijing, and as I have said it before I can tell you, those 2 weeks I was there were somehow the most important ones in my career…”
Journalist: “The Athens ones were very [Rafa laughs and says, "short!"] — well, short, but then in Beijing you got the gold medal, so these ones in London could be the most special because you wil be the one holding the flag and defending the gold medal…”
Rafa: “Well, having the flag with me is very special itself, now. Having or not having the flag doesn´t make it more important or less, as I said, it is the most impotant event to be in the Olympic Games, so I feel lucky to be there again. It is like a dream come true.”
Journalist: “A last question, Rafa: You are representing Spain now and you are proudly Spanish. Do you think we can have the Olympic Games in 2020?”
Rafa: “We should! I think Madrid deserves to have those Games, and I will be an spectator almost for sure due to my age, but it would be very nice. I remember Barcelona 2002; I was only 6. But I think Madrid 2020 could be a nice reality.”
. . .
MINISTER: “I remember you in a soccer match with your face painted with the Spanish flag all over it, and you do it every time you have the opportunity. You do not need to be holding the flag, because people see you as the ‘Spanish ambassador’ everywhere. No one else deserves this more than you do now. There will be not only 281 players behind you, you will have the whole country. So all I can say is, ‘VAMOS, RAFA!’ ”
. . .
The last man talking says about Rafa: “We see Rafa everywhere. He will be the representative, and he is an exemplary person, tennis player, and sportsman. I had trouble this morning preparing this speech to describe Rafa: he is a fighter, he never gives up, he cannot stop even when the times are tough … Even if he is not playing he goes to support his mates … In every interview, in every match, we see the kind of person he is, he always shows that, before the success,there´s a lot of effort. … You have won everything, yet you are always a very humble person, no matter whether you win or lose. You have a lot of respect for your opponents and for everyone … You have had talent, your parents gave you great DNA … but the most important achievement/victory is the way you are. We all admire you, and we are all with you, and our first gold medal is already here by having you holding that flag.”
Journalist: “Good luck, Rafa …You will have not only the players behind you but all of us, you will be representing us…”
Rafa: “We will need the luck! I wish all the team good luck and success, and thank you very much…”
Journalist: “Let´s pack our luggage and we will see you in London!”