Rafael Nadal reflects on legacy during graduation speech

Friday, 14 June 2024 at 08:30
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Spanish tennis legend Rafale Nadal may be dealing with injuries during the final days of his career, but that did not stop the 22-time Grand Slam champion from delivering an inspiring speech at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar graduation last week.
The former World No.1 praised the graduates for everything they had accomplished, before touching on the subject of legacy. The Mallorcan recounted a story about a conversation he had with longtime rival and good friend Roger Federer.
"A few months ago I had the chance to visit the Italian Dolomites in the company of my friend and rival Roger Federer," began Nadal. "There in the mountains, we had a very interesting conversation about a word that I think is very important: legacy.
“Both Roger and I agree on something we believe is of the utmost importance. How would we like to be remembered in a few years? How do we want the future generations to think of us? We are both very sure of our answers. It’s great that our achievements, our titles and our records are recognized, but as the years go by it is probable that someone will arrive and do something better.
"What is important, then, is that which will always be remembered. Therefore, both Roger and I agree that we would like to be remembered as good people. We live in a society that highlights the what and the now above all else.

"But I would like to highlight the importance of the how. When you are at university or on a tennis court, say to yourself occasionally, ‘How would I like my classmates to remember me? And my teachers? My friends?’ I could tell you to try and be influencers in your surroundings, but I prefer the term leaders. The people around you should see you as someone who should be copied because of their values."

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