World Champion National Wrestler Yasemin Adar Wins The 2018 Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award

13 min

An Award For Friendship, Excellence And Respect!

Koç Holding Board Member Caroline N. Koç: “The Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award Aspires To Reward Accomplished Role Models, To Support Young People Who Have A Passion And Talent For Sports, And To Encourage Sportsmanship And Ethics, As These Values Were Epitomized By The Character Of Mustafa. The Level Of Welfare And Development We Seek For Our Country May Be Attained By Focusing Not Just On Economic Growth, But Also On Cultural Diversity, Love Of Arts, Quality Of Education, And Sporting Achievements.”
The second Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award was presented in collaboration between Koç Holding and the Turkish Olympic Committee to commemorate the memory of Mustafa V. Koç for his immense contributions to sports as a sportsman, executive and sponsor. From among candidates nominated by numerous sports persons, sports NGOs, universities and youth and sports clubs; the Selection Committee and the Jury chose Yasemin Adar to give the 2018 Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award. Adar is Turkey's first woman wrestler to become World Champion in 2017 and European Champion for three consecutive years in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Yasemin Adar received her award, which was designed by Ivan Chermayeff, the worldfamous designer of Koç logo, and a 200,000- Turkish lira prize from Koç Holding Board Member and the Jury President of Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award Caroline N. Koç at a ceremony held at the Çırağan Palace on the evening of September 10. Caroline N. Koç made the opening speech of the evening with attendance from the Koç Family members, prominent business and sports personalities and Nawal El Moutawakel, the first Muslim woman athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. During the ceremony, the orchestra conducted by Murat Cem Orhan performed the piece of Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award, exclusively composed by Tony Britten; the renown composer of UEFA Champions League Anthem.
Caroline N. Koç: “We want to support young people who have a passion and talent for sports.”
“Tonight, we are gathered here to commemorate our beloved Mustafa once again. In his presence, we look back at the values that made Mustafa who he was, and put in action his vision of supporting exemplary athletes. Mustafa embraced and encouraged the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect in his daily life as well as in sports. He believed in the unifying power of sports and the way it promotes camaraderie and solidarity. Winning wasn’t his sole reason for competing. He believed sportsmanship and fair play were more important than success. That’s why the permanent theme of the Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award is Contributing to Olympic Values,” Caroline N. Koç said as she began her speech. “With the second presentation of the Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award, we want to reward accomplished role models, support young people who have a passion and talent for sports, and encourage sportsmanship and ethics, as these values were epitomized by the character of Mustafa. We place extra emphasis on the successful athletes who are setting an example by preserving these values – not only on the field, but also in their daily lives.”
Caroline N. Koç: “I believe it is vital for children to be encouraged to pursue sports at younger ages and to value all sports branches not just the popular ones.”
Caroline N. Koç thanked Nawal El Moutawakel for attending the ceremony and addressed her significant contributions to developing and spreading Olympic values across international sports community. Also listing her memberships in ‘the Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport’, ‘the Communications Commission’, and ‘the Women in Sport Commission’ of the International Olympic Committee Caroline Koç continued: “She is not only the first-ever Muslim women to win an Olympic gold medal, but she has also served as the Minister of Youth and Sports in her native Morocco. Throughout her sporting career, she has achieved countless accomplishments, such as becoming an Olympic champion. Furthermore, she is an exemplary athlete and politician who has developed and implemented many policies and projects to empower women and the youth. As in many fields, women’s achievements have a greater symbolic impact. I believe that success stories emerging from developing countries are of greater importance to the international community. I trust that introducing our children and youth to these precious role models will help motivate and guide them. In order for more of our youth to embrace sports and the Olympic values as a lifestyle, I feel it is critical for families and education institutions to encourage children’s interest in sport, and to teach them values such as excellence, friendship and respect. Children should be taught to value all sports branches – not just the popular ones – and the public and private sectors should support sports. I hope that our country achieves many more international successes in all sporting branches so that we feel proud to wave our flag during competitions. We should remember that the level of welfare and development we seek for our country may be attained by focusing not just on economic growth, but also on cultural diversity, love of arts, quality of education, and sporting achievements.”
Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener: “Excellence, friendship and respect are essential values for life; they are not just values for the Olympics and sports.”
The Turkish Olympic Committee President and the International Olympic Committee Vice President Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener also spoke at the event, and emphasized, “Values such as excellence, friendship and respect are essential values for life. They are not just values for the Olympics and sports. They are the ethical values that the late Mustafa V. Koç embraced as lifelong principles. As such, the Mustafa Vehbi Koç Sports Award is presented not only to athletes who have attained outstanding sporting achievements, but also to those who exhibit these values and set an example for our society – particularly for children and young people. I hope we can honor more athletes for their sporting talents and ethical values, and that more institutions join us in promoting the Olympic values and supporting woman athletes.”
 Yasemin Adar: “I believe that this Award will inspire not only me but also my beloved fellows”
The recipient of this year’s Mustafa Koç Award, World Champion wrestler Yasemin Adar commemorated Mustafa Koç with mercy and gratitude and continued: “I have faced many prejudices when I first started practicing wrestling. They said that I should not and cannot continue wrestling. This Award will be the symbol and the reminder of what can be achieved when you resiliently and passionately work out, without giving up and ignoring people who tells I cannot do this as a woman. Now, I see myself on the mat wrestling to pave the way for the next generation of women wrestlers. This is why I believe that this Award will inspire not only me but also my fellow wrestlers. I hope the importance of my struggle sets an example for them as an inspiration to achieve many more successes. There is a message I would like to deliver for all sportspeople: Performance and success is undoubtedly important; however, the values a sportsperson should embrace is of equal importance. Yet, history shows that these values are what make great achievements not only possible but also unforgettable.”
Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award Selection Committee
  • Fikret Ünlü, Former State Minister in charge of Youth and Sports
  • Hasan Arat, Turkish Olympic Committee Vice President and European Olympic Committees Board Member
  • Aydın Örs, Education Committee President of Association of Turkish Basketball Coaches
  • Ümit Kesim, Ph.D., Istanbul Bilgi University School of Sports Sciences and Technology
Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award Jury Members
  • Caroline N. Koç, Board Member, Koç Holding
  • Ömer M. Koç, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Koç Holding –
  • Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener, Turkish Olympic Committee President and International Olympic Committee Vice President
About World Champion Wrestler Yasemin Adar
She was born in Balıkesir on December 6, 1991. Raised in a family of wrestling enthusiasts, her sporting journey began with shot put and track & field. She joined the track and field team while studying at the Gaziosmanpaşa Anadolu High School. She then attended the Balıkesir University School of Physical Education and Sports. She took up wrestling in her native Balıkesir at the Balıkesir Municipality Youth Center under the auspices of Aslan Seyhanlı, former European and world-champion freestyle wrestler. Yasemin Adar works as a physical education teacher in Niğde. She continues her wrestling career at the Edirne Trakya Birlik Sports Club. In 2013, she won the gold medal in the 72-kilogram competition at the Mediterranean Games hosted by Mersin, Turkey. Yasemin Adar became the first woman to win a wrestling gold medal for Turkey on March 10, 2016, at the European Championships in Riga, Latvia. She also won gold at the European Championships in 2017 and 2018. At the 2017 World Wrestling Championships in Paris, she took the gold medal in the 75-kilogram competition, becoming Turkey's first-ever woman wrestler to do so.