Pal Schmitt

Pal Schmitt

Two heads of state are receiving United States Sports Academy awards presented by the university’s President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich on Thursday, Oct. 27 in Monaco.

The awards are being presented to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Hungary President Pál Schmitt. Both are former Olympians and both continue to contribute greatly to the Olympic Movement.

The first presentation is the Academy’s International Honorary Doctorate to Prince Albert, who is a five-time Olympian in the bobsled and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member. The second presentation is the Academy’s 2011 Eagle Award to Schmitt, who won two team épée gold medals in fencing and was a candidate for the IOC presidency.

Dr. Rosandich is giving them the awards in conjunction with his trip to the fifth edition of the Peace and Sport International Forum schedule from Oct. 26-28 in the Principality of Monaco. He then travels on to the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) Fest being held Oct. 28-Nov. 2 in Milan, Italy, as a member of that group’s executive committee.

Albert and Schmitt are both deserving of the honors given their many roles in the Olympics, Dr. Rosandich says.

“I can think of few people besides them who have given so much service to the Olympic Movement,” he says. “Their contributions to sport are truly amazing.”

Prince Albert II

Prince Albert II

Albert, the ruler of Monaco since 2005, is the only head of state who is a five-time Olympian and IOC member. Albert, who graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Amherst College in Massachusetts, steered the two-man and four-man bobsled in Winter Olympics between Calgary in 1988 and Salt Lake City in 2002.

He also has been an active IOC member since 1985, serving on several committees, including the cultural, marketing and nominations committees. Albert, who holds voting rights on Olympic venues, has also served on the Coordination Committees for the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and Turin, Italy, in 2006. He has served as president of the Monaco National Olympic Committee (NOC) since 1994.

Schmitt is receiving the Eagle Award, the Academy’s highest international honor which annually goes to a world leader in sport to recognize that individual’s contributions in promoting international harmony, peace, and goodwill through the effective use of sport. The 69-year-old Schmitt devoted nearly 25 years to the Olympics during his career and earned two team épée gold medals in 1968 in Mexico and 1972 in Munich for the Hungarian National Fencing Team.

Schmitt, who earned election in August 2010 as Hungary’s president, served the IOC as its Chief of Protocol and presided over the World Olympians Association between 1999 and 2007. Elected as an IOC member in 1983, he served as vice-president of the IOC from 1995 until 1999. He was a candidate for the IOC Presidency in 2001 and finished fourth. In Hungary after the end of Communism in 1990, he became president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee.