Monaco and Sports
From the Formula 1 Grand Prix to the Tennis Open, sports have always been at the heart of Monégasque life. It is therefore fitting that the Grimaldi family counts several Olympic athletes, sports managers, and members of the Olympic committee.
A family of athletes
Although he did not play any high-level sport, Prince Rainier III was an avid football and rugby player, as well as an amateur boxer. He is also the monarch that oversaw the construction of the Louis III Stadium in the Fontvieille neighbourhood.
However, the Grimaldi’s love of sports starts long before Prince Rainier III. His father, Pierre de Polignac, was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1950 until his death in 1964, while Guy de Polignac, cousin of the Prince, was a member of the French bobsleigh team in the 1920s, discipline which a few decades later brought Prince Albert to the Olympics.
>> READ ALSO: A long and happy love story: Monaco’s history with sport
Prince Albert II: a life-long passion for sports
Prince Albert’s love of sports knows no limits: Athletics, football, tennis, judo, rowing, and sailing, but also skiing, squash, swimming, modern pentathlon, and bobsleigh. Prince
Albert competed in bobsleigh at five consecutive Olympic games, from 1988 to 2002. At the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympic Games, he was the flag bearer of the Monegasque delegation. He also took part twice in the Paris-Dakar rally, in 1985 and 1986.
Prince Albert is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and President of the Monegasque swimming, athletics, modern pentathlon, bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton federations.
Princess Charlene: a former Olympic swimmer
Prince Albert’s wife, Princess Charlene of Monaco, is a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa. She competed at the 2000 Sidney Olympic games, where she achieved 5th place in the 4 × 100m relay. That same year, she won the gold medal in the 200m backstroke at the Monaco International Swimming Meeting.
While Grace Kelly was not an Olympian, but both her father and her brother were. Her father, John Kelly Sr., was Olympic rowing champion at the 1920 (two gold medals) and 1924 (one gold medal) Olympic games. Grace’s brother John Kelly Jr. too was a rower. He competed at the 1948, 1952, 1956, and 1960 Olympics Games, winning a bronze medal in 1956, which he gave to his sister Grace as a wedding present.
The new generation
While Princess Caroline never pursued sports professionally, she was married to Stefano Casiraghi, offshore world champion. Two of their three children competed in professional sports: Charlotte in horse riding and Pierre in rallying and sailing.
Two of Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s children have also been involved in sport. Passionate about football, Louis Ducruet worked for five years at AS Monaco, as an international recruiter and then assistant to the vice-president. His sister, Pauline Ducruet competed in diving at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.