In a proud moment for India, Sachin Tendulkar won the Laureus Award for the Best Sporting Moment in the last 20 years. The site of the legend being lifted by his teammates as he waved the Indian flag after India’s 2011 World Cup victory was hailed by legendary sportspersons in Berlin. The highest run-getter in international cricket gave an inspiring speech on the podium alongside former opponent Steve Waugh and tennis legend Boris Becker.
Sachin Tendulkar began by thanking the Laureus Academy, “To be holding this trophy, I would like to thank the Laureus Academy members for giving this memory to me, this is really special and also people who voted and felt that the moment that we saw on the screen was worth voting for. With everyone celebrating Laureus’ 20th anniversary, it’s been incredible what the Academy has been able to achieve in the last 20 years and how it has impacted so many lives through various mediums, sport, gender equality, education. It’s truly incredible and I hope it continues the way it has for the last 20 years and impact many more lives.”
On the moment at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the 46-year-old said, “It’s simply, incredible, beyond what words that I can express. How many times you get an event happening where there are no mixed opinions? Very rarely the entire country celebrates.”
“Very rarely there are no mixed views, everyone sits together and celebrates,” he shared.
He continued, “And this is a reminder again of how powerful a sport is and what magic it does to our lives. I think we experience that, we experience the power of sports and that has stayed with me, even now, when I have watched that moment.“
Becker asked him how he felt after winning the World in his ‘sixth and final attempt. Sachin shared an emotional anecdote, “My journey started in 1983 when I was 10 years old. And why I say 1983 for those who don’t follow cricket, India won the World Cup in 1983. And at the age of 10, I did not understand the significance of winning that trophy, but because everybody was celebrating, I also joined the party.”
The former Indian captain continued, “But somewhere I knew that something special had happened to out country, and I wanted to experience it one day and that’s where my journey began.”
Sachin added, “With the trophy in my hand, there is a tricolour in my hand, which was the proudest moment of my life. Holding that trophy which I chased, as Boris said, for 22 years, but the only good thing is I never gave up, I never lost hope.”
“I was merely lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen and India,” he exulted.
Sachin also said, “That has given me lot of satisfaction, the 24 years that I played cricket for India, has been a dream come true for me, and it is also something that hasn’t changed then, holding this trophy, has also given me this honour and to represent my nation. I feel extremely proud to be holding this trophy, on behalf of all Indians and people who have supported Indian cricket,” he continued.
Sachin concluded with a goosebump-inducing message given to him Nelson Mandela, “I had the honour of meeting the great man in South Africa, President Nelson Mandela, when I was only 19, his hardship did not affect leadership. Out of many big messages that he left behind with us, the most important I felt, was that sport has got the power to unite, to unify everyone.”
“Today sitting in this room, with so many great athletes, some of them did not have the best of everything, but they made the best of everything they had. And they’ve gone on to become champion athletes. I want to thank all of them for inspiring youngsters to pick up a sport of their choice, and chase their dream,” Sachin stated.
“Today, I feel this trophy belongs to all of us for inspiring youngsters and it’s not just about me. So thank you very much, it’s truly humbling,” Sachin signed off.
"This is a reminder of how powerful sport is and what magic it does to all of our lives."— Laureus (@LaureusSport) February 17, 2020
A God for a nation. An inspiration worldwide.
And an incredible speech from the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000 - 2020 winner, the great @sachin_rt 🇮🇳#Laureus20 #SportUnitesUs pic.twitter.com/dLrLA1GYQS