Rafael Nadal Becomes a Best Buddy

Sep 15, 2008, 01:00 ET from Best Buddies International

    MIAMI and MADRID, Spain, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Best
 Buddies International founder and chairman, Anthony Kennedy Shriver, is
 privileged to announce the gracious support of the organization's mission
 by Olympic Gold Medalist, and the world's number one-ranked tennis
 champion, Rafael Nadal of Spain. Nadal, who will join the Board of
 Directors of both Best Buddies International and Best Buddies Spain, in the
 capacity of an honorary member, enthusiastically embraces Best Buddies and
 its mission of one-to-one friendships for persons with intellectual
 disabilities. Nadal has further committed to serve as a Best Buddies Global
 Ambassador for Friendship, participating in the international communication
 of the organization's message of goodwill, inclusion and fellowship.
 Founded in 1989, Best Buddies operates in 41 countries that span six
 continents; and realizes through its one-to-one friendships, established
 with both community and student volunteers, enhanced social and employment
 opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. In Europe,
 Nadal is equally keen to support the expansion of Best Buddies Spain in
 order to better serve Spanish citizens with intellectual disabilities.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080915/DCM011 )
     Best Buddies positively impacts more than 400,000 individuals annually
 throughout the world. Nadal's belief in the contributions to social
 inclusion made possible via Best Buddies programs serves as a magnificent
 testament to the capacity of friendship to improve the independence and
 integration of persons with intellectual disabilities throughout society.
 Best Buddies indeed is honored to receive the valuable support of such a
 singularly accomplished athlete and world citizen, given that Nadal
 recently won Gold in tennis at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, and now
 ranks as the number one tennis professional in the world; having won 54 of
 his preceding 56 matches, including victories in the finals at both the
 French Open and Wimbledon. Nadal was recently honored with the Prince of
 Asturias Sports Award in Spain, which will be presented by HRH Crown Prince
 Felipe. American Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps was among the select
 group of other nominees for this prestigious European award, which has been
 previously bestowed upon German tennis icon Steffi Graf, American Tour de
 France phenomenon Lance Armstrong, as well as Formula One champions Michael
 Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. Appreciating Nadal's impressive leadership
 in the world of sports and his own Foundation's inspiring humanitarian
 focus, Shriver welcomes with great anticipation Nadal's commitment to Best
 Buddies and its global mission of one- to-one friendship and employment for
 youth with intellectual disabilities. For more information, visit
 www.bestbuddies.org .

SOURCE Best Buddies International