Five-time Olympian Prince Albert of Monaco celebrates 65th birthday

Monte Carlo (RWH) Under the name Albert Grimaldi, he took part in five Winter Olympics as a bobsleigh pilot. He is better known as Prince Albert II of Monaco. On March 14, the reigning prince and head of the Grimaldi family celebrates his 65th birthday.

As a bobsleigh pilot for Monaco, Albert II participated in the Olympics in Calgary (CAN), Albertville (FRA), Lillehammer (NOR), Nagano (JPN) and Salt Lake City (USA) between 1988 and 2002. In 1988, 1994 and 2002 he was flag bearer for his nation.

The Prince is still closely connected to the sport of bobsleigh. At the BMW IBSF World Championships, he took part in the traditional race of the St. Moritz Bobsleigh Club (SMBC) and mastered the challenging natural ice track with his long-time companions Christian Reich (SUI) and Mark Tout (GBR).

Most recently, Monaco only narrowly missed its first ever Olympic medal at the Beijing Winter Games. Rudy Rinaldi and Boris Vain took sixth place in the 2-man bobsleigh. The third-placed athlete of the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games missed the bronze medal by just 56 hundredths of a second.

The sports enthusiast son of Prince Rainer, who was christened Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Rainier Grimaldi, took up bobsleigh in the mid-1980s. Albert II has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (UIOC) since 1985.

Prince Albert's former brakeman and 1992 and 1994 Olympian, David Tomatis, now serves as Vice President of Marketing and Events at the World Federation IBSF.

Photos: Siegfried Kachel, IBSF/Viesturs Lacis, SMBC

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