Socialist Sports Awards 2005
best sport journalist of the year
Dave Zirin for his book "What's my name fool, sports and resistance in the USA"
best health improvement
Diego maradona regains his figure after surgery.
Victory celebration of the year
"Viva Chavez!" shouted Oswaldo Guillen, the Venezuelan manager of the Chicago White Sox, after taking the Sox to their first World series win since 1917. Guillen was later voted 2005 baseball manager of the year. He celebrated victory draped in the Venezuelan flag and took the trophy to Venezuela, the first time it has been outside the USA.
Bad decision of the year
The US government agency, the Office for Foreign Activities Control, for banning the Cuban baseball team participating from the 2006 World Baseball Classic Championship. They say it would be illegal because Cuban players would financially benefit. Cuba has won the World Champion title 27 times, and has become Olympic Champion three times, in the four times it has competed in the Olympic Games.
Cutest move of the year
The Cuban Baseball Federation saying all earnings from Cuban players at the 2006 World Baseball Classic Championship in the USA could be given to Hurricane Katrina victims. Nevertheless, the US government continues to ban their participation.
Most sadly Missed
Max Schmeling, German heavyweight boxer, holder of world heavyweight title between 1930 and 1932, died 2nd February 2005. A brave man who quietly defied Hitler.
Best sporting role model of the year
Aussie bowler, Shane Warne, for simply being Shane Warne.
Politician with the best sports photo opportunity
Hugo Chavez in Venezuelan national baseball strip.
Sport personality of the year (joint award)
Etan Thomas, power forward of the NBA Washington Wizards, for his speech at the Washington demonstration against the Iraq war in September.
Diego Maradona, for his brilliant participation in the protests against George Bush during the summit of the Americas in Argentina in November. (shown here with Evo Morales)
Surprising sports quote of the year:
"Because of the strong relationship …, and my affection and respect for sport in Cuba, our intention is to make sure that this special relationship is even stronger than ever in the next seven years. … Perhaps more important though is the lesson that Cuba has given the world, not just about elite performance, but also about participation in the community and how you have encouraged children to be active in the sports in the community through schools, through clubs."
Former Tory Sport Minister, Lord Colin Moynihan, in Havana, signing a cooperation agreement between British and Cuban Olympic Associations in November 2005. (shown here competing in the Olympics)
Worst excuse of the year
Paulo Di Canio complaining why he should not be punished for racism by the Italian football Liga, after making a fascist salute to Lazio fans: “I am a fascist, not a racist”!
Best fans’ chant of the year
“No Arabs, No world cup”. Fans of the racially mixed Bnei Sakhnin team in the Israeli football league, responding to racist Betar Jerusalem fans who were chanting, “No Arabs, No terror”. This refers to Bnei Sakhnin’s Arab star Abbas Suan, who scored a vital 91st minute goal for Israel in a world cup qualifier against Ireland (Israel eventually failed to qualify)
Best reality check
Leeds striker David Healy scoring in a world cup qualifier to give Northern Ireland their first victory against England since 1972.
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