The highly successful 2nd edition of the Monaco World Sports Legends Award, the Oscars of Sport, took place on Friday 1st (Media Day) and on Saturday 2nd December for the Award Ceremony with Gala Dinner-Show and Red Carpet held in the Salle D’Or of the Fairmont Monte Carlo, located in the famous curve of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The event was presented in five languages by the international ballet star Lorena Baricalla, Ambassadress and Master of Ceremonies of the Monaco World Sports Legends Award. She was the perfect hostess for the evening’s events.
We met up with Lorena Baricalla to hear her news about the event.
Who are the great champions who received awards this year? What can you tell us about your meetings with them?
LB: Again this year the list of Award winners presented the greatest world sporting champions: men and women who have really excelled in their respective disciplines and who we have brought together to receive the awards at this exceptional event. Emotion-packed moments for all those who have shown out-standing human values and how discipline, energy, determination and passion are the driving force of the existence. I had a lovely time with each of them: there was an immediate spirit of belonging to one big family!
The Australian Michael Doohan is five-times MotoGP World Champion. He told me about the enormous effort that he made to come back from two very serious accidents on the circuit. Jacky Ickx is an extraordinary eclectic racing driver who has been twice Formula1 Vice-World Champion, 6 times winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans and winner of the Paris-Dakar. He’s a real gentleman with amazing verve. Josefa Idem has won an impressive 38 medals at Olympics, European and World championships in a career spanning two decades. She follows her heart as well as having enormous determination. The Frenchwoman Michèle Mouton competed in a man’s world, becoming world runner-up in Rally. Today she is President of the FIA’s Women & Motor Sport Commission and manager of the World Rally Championships. As co-founder of the Race of Champions she has recently designed the circuit for the race that will take place in Saudi Arabia in January at the King’s request. This is an historic moment, given that in 2018 Saudi women will finally be able to drive. Armin Zöggeler is a true star of the snow. He has won on the luge more times than anyone else. He is a fine-looking, elegant man who I was lucky enough to have as my escort on the red-carpet!
These sporting legends were joined by the winners from last year: Giacomo Agostini, Mika Hakkinen, Carl Fogarty, Pernilla Wiberg, Jean-Marie Pfaff, Tia Hellebaut, Jhong Uhk Kim, Sir Anthony McCoy. “Best Values Award” Victor Tello, “Premio Postumo” Antony Noghès.
A particular feature of the event, created and produced by your production company, Promo Art Monte-Carlo Production, is that of linking the sporting stars with entertainment, art, fashion and glamour, making the Monaco World Sports Legends Award a unique international showcase: the Oscars of Sport. Who are the stylists who dressed you during the 2-day event?
LB: For the evening of the Awards I wore five wonderful evening gowns in Hollywood style from Marketa Hakkinen’s new 2018 collection Nordic Angels. She is the wife of the famous racing driver Mika Hakkinen, one of last year’s award winners. Marketa has just launched her own brand of dresses in precious fabrics and really soft reindeer leather, and has already been showcased in New York, LA, Monaco and Dubai.
For the first day, the Media Day on 1st December, dedicated to the two series of the WSLA Talk Show entitled “Sporting Stars: The Man or the Woman behind the Champion” and “Show, Art & Fashion”, I had a series of outfits created especially for this event by Eles Italia in a very contemporary style. With these outfits I wore pieces of Marina Corazziari’s jewellery works of art. All the Talk Show episodes can be viewed on web channels You Tube, Vimeo and Daily Motion of Monaco World Sports Legends Award.
In addition, over the 2 days, I wore precious watches – pieces of enormous beauty and elegance – from the exclusive Swiss brand Century Times Gems, who were an event partner.
Zona Centro Shoes also created a series of ballet flats especially for the event.
We’ve heard that there was also a tribute to Gianni Versace during the Awards Gala …
LB: Yes, in honour of Gianni Versace, the great stylist whose birthday was precisely on this day, his portrait was exhibited. It is a sculpture by Marcos Marin. From the stage of the Oscars of Sport in Monte Carlo it left the next day for Miami for an exclusive evening organised in Versace’s honour by Madonna on 7th December. In this way we created a bridge between Monte Carlo and Miami!
In this edition of the Oscars, as an international star you also performed in a greatly applauded rendition of “Carmen” …
LB: I had the pleasure of performing this role before an amazing audience. I created a new, modern choreography on points and Bizet’s notes were played by a heavy metal guitar, bringing huge emotional impact to the ballet!
Given that Monte Carlo has long been a venue of the most prestigious Red carpets, there was an exceptional participation of world sporting champions, international stars and VIPs. Can you share some names with us?
LB: Yes, they include Charles Leclerc, Formula 2 world champion, who on the same day was officially confirmed as a member of the Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 team – a special announcement which was made on stage during the WSLA in Monte Carlo, following the official confirmation that same morning in Milan. Other champions who were present included the multi-medal-winning skier, Pernilla Wiberg, who received a World Sports Legend award last year; Yann-Anthony Noghès, who last year accepted the WSLA Posthumous award on behalf of his grandfather Anthony Noghès and Italian synchronised swimming champions Linda Cerruti and Costanza Ferro, placed fourth this year in the Combo at the World Aquatics Championships.
Taking part as well were performing stars who included the famous singer, Khadja Nin, whose moving words on the stage remembered Nelson Mandela and how sport unites peoples; His Excellency the Italian Ambassador Cristiano Gallo; the MotorGP manager Gianluca Montiron; Christine Barca, general secretary of the Fight Aids Association founded by Princess Stefania of Monaco and the music producer Martial Benhamou of BMG Production.
We know that the Red Carpet was also decorated with art works.
LB: Yes, with the works “WSLA Art meets Sport” in favour of the Foundation of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco created by international artist Marcos Marin, Official Artist of the Foundation, who also conceived the Oscar for the World Sports Legends Award, a sculpture that brings together all the symbolism and values of WSLA.
The principal theme was a tribute to 70 years of Ferrari with the portrait of Enzo Ferrari. It is a mythical brand which unites fans from all over the world!
The “Pantheon of the World Sports Legends” was exhibited as well, reuniting the handprints which were created last year with the awarded champions.
In addition, a Photo Shoot set was created on the Red Carpet by the Belgian luxury design brand Concept by V, partners for the event.
The Gala is conceived as a great American-style show. As well as your performance in “Carmen” what were some of the other highlights of the event?
LB: As well as the Corps di Ballet and the Orchestra, we had the participation of the vocal imitator Chrystoph Lemaire, who has often performed at the famous Olympia in Paris, and Feminine Sports of Monaco put on an acrobatic performance.
And an exclusive menu was also created especially for the Gala?
LB: Yes, the menu was created and prepared by Philippe Joannès, Head Chef at the Fairmont “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”. In accordance with the partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the undertaking is to highlight the use of local and seasonal products and to follow the Mr Goodfish programme for the sustainable consumption of seafood.
The WSLA is an event which is enjoying ever greater success. Just one year since its inception, what sort of reaction are you getting on its social networks?
LB: We’re delighted because on its 16 social networks and the Oscars of Sports web channels, the photos and videos attract 285,000 views each month, amounting to a total of 3,000,000 views in about a year. I’m enjoying the same great success on all my own social networks.
What exactly was the programme for the 2017 event?
LB: The first day, Media Day on 1st December, was dedicated to the interviews, and as I mentioned, to the Talk Show that can be seen on the Monaco World Sports Legends Award’s web channels, on Youtube, Vimeo and Daily Motion, and to the Handprints Show for the creation of the champions’ handprints. These events were held in the venues of the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
Then, the Official Press Conference took place in the late afternoon in the Salon des Princes at the prestigious Automobile Club de Monaco, followed by a cocktail and a VIP Dinner.
The Awards Ceremony concluded the event on 2nd December with a Gala Dinner-Show and Red Carpet in the Salle D’Or of the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
The event took place in partnership with the Hotel Fairmont Monte Carlo.
It also benefited from the support of the Automobile Club de Monaco and the Monte Carlo Board of Tourism and Congresses. Radio Monte Carlo was the WSLA Official Radio.
What are the criteria for receiving an Award?
LB: The prestigious World Sports Legends Award is awarded to men and women, sporting champions both active and retired, who have gained distinction not only for their sporting exploits but also for their example, which is an inspiration for the new generations.
The Monaco World Sports Legends Award aims at promoting sport’s ethical and moral values as ideals to motivate others, especially the young, to excel.
The Awarded enter the Pantheon of the World Sports Legends through their handprints, as symbols of mankind and the whole of humanity.
Today’s world and the new generations need positive role models and the Stars of Sport fill this important role. These are the values which the Monaco World Sports Legends Award aims to promote in the future!