It was a big week for the British Royal Family as well as Prince Albert II of Monaco and their connection to the world of sports. Queen Elizabeth made a rare visit to Wimbledon to watch all the great tennis. Prince Harry has been the States this week and he threw out the first pitch at a Met’s game, and not be be outdone Prince Albert of Monaco, a world class athlete in his own right became engaged to Charlene Wittstock, an Olympic swimmer from South Africa.
This got me thinking and reading about royalty in general and their participation in sports. Let’s take a look.
Did you know that Princess Anne competed in the 1976 Olympic Games for England in Montreal? She didn’t win a medal, but she competed in equestrian events at the highest level throughout the 70’s. Princess Anne really loved horses and enjoyed competing. Being in the spotlight in Montreal was the highlight of her equestrian career.
Back to Prince Albert of Monaco. He was actually a 5-time Olympic bobsledder. He competed in the 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2002 Winter Games. The Prince never medaled, but he gained much attention for the bobsled events. He is currently a member of the International Olympic Committee. Albert remains an avid athlete and likes to play tennis, ski, and fence.
During the reign of Maharaja Sawai Madho Signh-II (1880-1922) in India, polo fields were built all across the country. It was during this polo renaissance that Maharaja Sawai Man Singh ji – II showed much promise in polo. His team won the prestigious British Polo Championships at Hurligham. He later went on to bigger polo events in the U.S. and was said to be one of the best polo players in the world. He ended up being quite a promoter of polo in India and around the world.
Last but not least, we don’t have royalty here in America, but a special mention goes to General George Patton who competed in the 1912 Olympics in the pentathlon. Patton said he didn’t miss a target, but officials said he did and he did not win the gold.
It’s always interesting to see what royalty does when they are not ruling their land.HH Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, a member of the ruling family of Qatar has a goal to promote motorsports around the world and in his home country of Qatar. It’s with this that he formed Al-Anabi Racing which runs dragsters in multiple classes in the NHRA. Sheikh Khalid’s vision is to build championship-caliber race teams in the United States and Qatar. He’s on his way as Larry Dixon is leading the points race in Top Fuel Dragster this season. Sheikh Khalid is also having success behind the wheel as well. Sheikh Khalid recently won his first professional drag race in the ADRL Pro Extreme division. He is a real promising talent on the drag racing circuit.