National gymnast İbrahim Çolak named athlete of year
Artistic gymnast İbrahim Çolak was chosen as the 2021 Athlete of the Year at the 67th Gillette Milliyet Athlete of the Year awards on Sept. 29.
Mehmet Baykan, general manager of Sports Services, presented the award in a ceremony at Istanbul’s Volkswagen Arena organized by the Turkish Milliyet daily newspaper and shaving products company Gillette.
“My achievements showed that I should not give up and work hard to reach my goals,” Çolak said during his speech, thanking both Turkish people and the selection committee.
After earning a gold medal at the European Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Turkey’s Mediterranean port city of Mersin, Çolak finished fifth in the men’s artistic gymnastics ring apparatus final of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The “Best Team of 2021” went to Turkey’s national women’s volleyball team, and its captain, Eda Erdem, was named Gillette Venus Female Athlete of the Year.
The award was presented to the National Women’s Volleyball team by Demirören Holding Board Member, Erdoğan Demirören.
“We had a very successful summer. It gives us great pleasure that girls take us as role models,” national volleyball player Meryem Boz said after receiving the award.
Erdem received the award from Tankut Turnaoğlu, chairman of the Board of P&G Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia.
“We will carry our country higher by becoming Atatürkist, country-loving, fair, hardworking and successful women,” Erdem said, as a captain of a team that jazzed millions up with a success it has achieved in the last two tournaments.
Turkey’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team was chosen as Paralympic Athlete of the Year, while Olympic Champion Turkish boxer Busenaz Sürmeneli received a special award.
“I went to Tokyo to be a beacon of hope for someone. I want to call the parents: Stand firm behind all children playing sports. This is how my family stood behind me,” she said.
Sürmeneli made history at the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 7 by winning the gold medal in women’s welterweight.
National swimmer Merve Tuncel was awarded the best breakout athlete of the year, and the special jury award went to national gymnast Ferhat Arcan.
Lifting the 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague trophy, Anadolu Efes technical director Ergin Ataman received the Coach of the Year award, while Fenerbahçe’s 26-year-old central midfielder, İrfan Can Kahveci, received the Football Player of the Year award.
Erdoğan Demirören Grand Prize went to Vakıfbank Sports Club.