New Zealand's All Blacks win top Spanish sports prize

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2014 file photo, New Zealand All Blacks players perform the traditional haka dance before play against the USA Eagles during the International Test Rugby Match in Chicago. New Zealand's famed All Blacks rugby team has been awarded Spain's Princess of Asturias prize on Wednesday May 24, 2017 for sports in recognition of its extraordinary success and for representing the values of solidarity and racial and cultural integration.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

MADRID — New Zealand's national rugby team has been awarded Spain's Princess of Asturias prize for sports in recognition of its success and for representing the values of solidarity and racial and cultural integration.

Organizers said Wednesday the two-time defending world champion All Blacks are a global icon in rugby and one of sport's most successful teams.

They highlighted the team's contribution to unifying New Zealanders of different origins, best symbolized by the popular Haka tribal dance it performs before each match.

The 50,000 euro ($56,000) award is one of eight Asturias prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named for Crown Princess Leonor. Others categories include art, social sciences and scientific research.

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