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A look at Monaco’s royal Olympians

Copyright imago Motorsports FIA Formula One World Championship 2012/I-images

With the Summer Olympic Games in full swing, let’s take a look at Monaco’s royal Olympians.

The Monégasque delegation is always one of the smallest delegations because of the size of the country, but it also had one very famous member.

Indeed, from 1988 – Monaco’s second appearance at the Winter Olympics – to 2002, Prince Albert of Monaco was a member of the Monégasque delegation. He has not been included in the team since 2006 because he ascended the throne after his father, Prince Rainier, died in 2005.

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Prince Albert competed in Bobsleigh four-man and two-man under the name Albert Grimaldi. Sadly, he never won any medals, his best ranking being 25th at Bobsleigh two-man in 1988.

Prince Albert was also a flagbearer for Monaco three times: in Calgary, Canada (1988), Lillehammer, Norway (1994) and Nagano, Japan (1998). He also carried the Olympic Flame during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, United States.

The Monégasque delegation only competes in two disciplines: bobsleigh and alpine skiing, and they have never won any medals in any Olympic Games.

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Also, Prince Albert has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985, and he has attended every Olympics since he stopped competing. In 2018, Prince Albert attended the IOC session and the Opening Ceremony. Prince Albert also has some Olympic lineage as both his maternal grandfather, John Kelly Sr. and his maternal uncle, John Kelly Jr., are Summer Olympic medalists in rowing.

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However, in 2011, another Olympian joined the Monégasque Princely Family when Prince Albert married Charlene Wittstock on 1 July. Charlene Wittstock was an Olympic swimmer, and she took part in the 2000 Summer Olympics, where the South African’s 4×100 medley relay team finished fifth. Charlene also won four medals at the 1999 All-Africa Games and one medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Game.

The 2006 Winter Olympics were very special for Prince Albert as they were the first he was not competing in, but it was also where he decided to introduce his girlfriend, Charlene Wittstock, officially.

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