The second annual edition of the Tecate Sports Awards paid homage last night to the accomplishments and character of Hispanic professional athletes during a star-studded ceremony broadcast by the Univision Network from the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles.
The event, which was presented by Cerveza Tecate, a Heineken USA import, was hosted by Angélica Vale, Fernando Fiore and Cristián de la Fuente.
Seventeen athletes from six sports categories were selected by a panel of distinguished current and former professional sportsmen and sports personalities to receive awards based on their statistical excellence, cumulative contributions to their team and Hispanic community during 2008.
Among those recognized were Juan Manuel Márquez (Athlete of the Year and Boxer of the Year), Jeff García (American Football Player of the Year), Pau Gasol (Basketball Player of the Year), Helio Castroneves (Auto Racer of the Year) and Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Soccer Player of the Year).
Tributes were also presented to boxing champion Roberto Durán (Golden Eagle Award), MLB baseball great Luis Tiant (Sports Idol Award) and Mexican boxing marvel Julio César Chavez (Sports Legend Award) highlighting their impressive lifetime careers.
Additionally, wrestler Henry Cejudo was honored for his accomplishments at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the Triumphant Spirit Award.
The celebrity-filled audience was entertained throughout the night by performances by some of today’s biggest Latin music stars such as Mexican pop diva Gloria Trevi, Colombian singer Fanny Lu, Mexican crooner Cristian Castro, pop solo artist Pee Wee, Mexican regional acts Lupillo Rivera, Patrulla 81 and La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de Rene Camacho, and reggaetón duo Angel y Khriz.
Special appearances included Oscar de la Hoya, Luis Castillo (award nominee), Steven Goldstein (award nominee), Jim Plunkett, Antonio Pérez (award nominee), Rey Mysterio, actresses Odalys Garcia and Adriana Fonseca, TV personality Daisy Fuentes, musicians Diana Reyes, Beto Cuevas and Michael Salgado, soccer players Paco Palencia, Manuel Negrete, Eduardo Lillingston, Jorge Flores and Maykel Galindo, among many others.