Continuing with our series of Royals and the Olympics in the lead up to London 2012, today we’re chatting all about the Princely family of Monaco. They have quite a history with the Olympic Games, and it all began with Princess Grace’s family, shown here in a candid snapshot. That’s little Grace in the middle with her parents:
The Kelly’s were a very athletic family; Grace’s dad and brother were both Olympians, and her mum lead the Physical Education department at the University of Pennsylvania. Here are some more details on those Olympians:
John “Jack” Kelly:
Grace Kelly’s dad Jack Kelly was a triple gold medal Olympic winner in rowing. Here he is rowing at the Antwerp Games in 1920, where he won gold for both the single and double scull events:
He won his third gold metal at the Paris Olympics in 1924 for the double scull event, which made him the first athlete to win three Olympic gold medals in the sport of rowing.
John Kelly Jr.
Grace’s brother John “Kell” Kelly followed in his footsteps and was also an Olympic medallist. He won bronze in the single skulls event at the 1956 Melbourne Games, which is when this photograph was taken:
He also competed in the 1948 London Games and the 1952 Games in Helsinki.
This photo of Kell with his sister Grace (and I believe that may just be their sister Lizanne on the right) was taken at the Henley Regatta in 1947:
Kell’s final Olympics were the 1960 Games in Rome. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier were there to cheer him on.
This photograph was taken during those games. Love the hat, Grace!!
This photograph was taken there as well. Rainier was taking some family snaps:
In 1985, Kell was elected President of the United States Olympic Committee. Sadly, he died the following year so was not able to fulfill that post for very long.
Grace’s son Prince Albert followed suit as an Olympian when he participates in the winter Olympic Games as a bobsledder for Monaco. Yes, this is kind of random, but there you go.
His first Olympic Games were in Calgary in ’88, where he competed against the Jamaican boblsed team made famous by the movie Cool Runnings (feel the rhythm, feel the ride..it’s bobsled time). Here he is warming up with some serious hopping:
He also participated in the 1992 Albertville Games, the 1994 Lillehammer Games, the 1998 Nagano Games, finally the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. So, he’s a five time olympian, folks! Not too shabby.
Prince Albert has been involved with the International Olympic Committee since 1989 and continues to be a member.
Princess Charlene of Monaco
Prince Albert also of course married a former Olympian, Charlene Wittstock. Charlene Wittstock participated in the 2000 Sydney games on the South African team, where her 4×100 medley team placed fifth. This photograph was taken during her race:
She also participated in the Marenostrum championships in Monaco that year, which is where she first met Prince Albert. She continued to swim competitively and qualified for the Beijing Olympics in 2007 but decided to retire from the sport before the Games.
Turin 2006 Winter Olympics
The couple has since travelled to various Olympic Games. Notably, the Opening Ceremony for the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 was the first time that the couple was photographed together publicly.
Here we have Prince Albert clowning around before the Opening Ceremony began. The audience was given flashlights to participate with and Charlene is loving it:
Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics:
Charlene and Prince Albert were also in Beijing. Was it time for a manicure?
Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
They also both attended the Games in Vancouver. The couple was engaged by this point and sat for an interview.
Check it out here:
Here’s Prince Albert posing with Team Monaco bobsledders Patrice Servelle and Sebastien Gattusoat the sliding centre in Whistler:
And here they are saying hello to the Swedish royals:
No doubt we will be seeing lots of the Princely couple in London. Can’t wait!