Olympic champ Mete Gazoz named ‘athlete of year’
The 68th Gillette-Milliyet Athletes of the Year Awards were handed out at a ceremony in Istanbul on March 30, with Olympic gold medalist recurve archer Mete Gazoz receiving the “Athlete of the Year” award.
Gazoz, the 22-year-old athlete who bagged the gold medal in the men’s individual event at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, got his award from the country’s Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu.
“There is no chance that an athlete can win an Olympic championship on his or her own,” Gazoz said in this speech, thanking the Turkish Olympics Committee, his family and trainers for their support.
Beginning archery in 2010, the right-handed archer made his international debut in 2013 by winning the silver medal in the Recurve Junior Men Team event at the World Youth Championship in China.
He has had seven gold medals in total in Olympic Games, World Cup, Mediterranean Games and European Youth Championships throughout his career.
The minister praised the ceremony as a “special night of honor.”
Around 5 million votes were cast for the dozens of nominees competing in seven main and other special categories in the awards, which has been organized by daily Milliyet since 1954 and sponsored by Gillette for the seventh time.
The Erdoğan Demirören Special Award went to the World Ethnosport Confederation this year.
“We are happy to give this award to an establishment that creates awareness,” said Sinan Oktay, a member of the board of Demirören Holding.
Alperen Şengün, who plays for the NBA team Houston Rockets, earned the “Best Newcomer Athlete” award, which was received by his father as the 18-year-old basketball player was in the U.S.
Turkish national football team’s new captain Hakan Çalhanoğlu was selected as the “Best Footballer of the Year.”
“This award reminded me how big the responsibility I have for the Turkish public,” he said in his speech he made via videoconference as he was in Italy, where he is playing for Inter FC.
“Best Paralympic Player of the Year” award went to the Turkish national Paralympic football team as a whole rather than an individual. Bülent Çetin, the captain of the team that became the European Champion last year, promised the country a trophy in the upcoming World Championship in Istanbul.
Volleyball set its seal on the night. Turkish women’s national volleyball got the “Best Team of the Year” award, with the team’s Italian coach Giovanni Guidetti being selected as the “Best Trainer of the Year.”
“I congratulate these young women’s successes,” Guidetti said in a vote of thanks, pointing out the women players of the national team.
Ada Göney, a 17-year-old athlete, burst into tears after getting a special “Best Skier of the Year” award. “I feel proud and happy to share this feeling with you tonight,” she said.