Mexican football fan Gilberto Martinez, who honoured his family with an emotional visit to the FIFA World Cup in Russia after tragically losing his family in a car crash, has won the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Month public vote in August.
Having planned to go to Russia together as a family. Gilberto lost his wife and two young children, aged eight and six, in a fatal car crash in April on holiday in Delray Beach, Florida. Martinez, a lawyer, sought help from a psychologist who told him that in order to move on and to honour his late family, he should “close the only outstanding issue in a beautiful family, to fulfil the dream of the four.”
Gilberto travelled to Russia and watched Mexico’s first game against defending champions Germany, wearing the tags of his family. Mexico won 1-0 – on June 17, Father’s Day. “It was very difficult,” said Martinez. He uploaded a video to Facebook and received more than 3,000 comments. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa wrote on social media: “This was for your family.”
Gilberto Martinez becomes the sixth Nominee for the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year, joining March winners and ski jumping legends Sven Hannawald and Kamil Stoch, April winner Doddie Weir, Rochdale football star Joe Thompson, who won in May, June’s winner, Chinese double-amputee Xia Boyu who climbed Mt Everest and Springboks historic first black Test captain Siya Kolisi, who won the July public vote.
Each month, from March to December, the public can select their favourite Moment from a shortlist of four videos, chosen by the sporting legends of the Laureus World Sports Academy. Monthly winners will then go head-to-head in a final public vote, with the winner being announced at the 2019 Laureus Awards Ceremony.