It may not be an Olympic medal, but Javier Bardem is still a gold medalist.
At a special gala event in New York City last night, Spain’s Queen Sofía presented the 42-year-old Oscar-winning actor with the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute’s Gold Medal, which is presented each year to Americans and Spaniards who contribute to the betterment of relations between the United States and Spain.
During the ceremony, Queen Sofía emphasized the importance of presenting the awards in New York, “a city that is the crucible of cultures, and that represents the force and the wealth of the ties that unite Spain and the United States.”
“I thank the queen of Spain for this recognition,” said Bardem during the special ceremony attended by distinguished guests, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Barbara Walters and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, adding that he felt “proud of being of a country with so many places and different colors.”
This year’s other medal recipients: Spanish chef and restaurateur Ferran Adrià and noted Peruvian photographer Mario Testino.
Testino, an artist from Lima who divides his time between London and New York, was recognized for his “exceptional talent that has made him a global star.”
“I dedicate this award to the thousands of Latin Americans who each year leave their countries to come to America,” said Testino, the man behind the lens of numerous magazine covers and portraits, including photos of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
In addition, Queen Sofia presented Oscar de la Renta, the president of the New York Institute, with the Great Order of Civil Merit award that King Juan Carlos awarded him in February.