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#PowerOfSport: Princess Charlene of Monaco in the Spotlight

Question: Nadia Comaneci or Simone Biles?

Answer: “Ooh, that’s a tough one…..Nadia.”

And with that Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco set out her gymnastic stall as she featured in the Blitz in Episode 4 of the Power of Sport podcast.

So, what about Formula One then? Well, we went there too.

Question: Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel?

Answer: “Sebastian Vettel.”

This special feature is seven quickfire ‘either-or’ questions in with previous guests having been Daley Thompson, Lucas Radebe and Ryk Neethling and exclusive to the Power of Sport.

To find out the rest of her answers then download the podcast as well as check out our additional feature this episode – a video of the Blitz with the Princess, here: 

Host Jean Smyth caught up with Her Serene Highness at an exclusive cocktail event in Johannesburg in aid of her Foundation that’s seen a huge change in basic water safety among the youth across the globe.

A former Olympian in the pool for South Africa, the Princess explains her motivation for starting her Foundation that’s playing a prominent role in effecting change.

“I created the Foundation on the basis that we would teach children to swim and then we expanded it to water safety programmes and now we’ve just implemented CPR – all part of the education programme that we’re going global with.

“I’m very happy that we’ve managed to reach thousands of people around the world through this initiative.”

As a mother of twins, she says it’s something that’s resonated deeply with her and also that she’s still finding time in her busy schedule to keep active.

“It was important for me to get my children familiar with the water, obviously to learn to swim, so they would feel comfortable in any aquatic environment.

“I still enjoy swimming, I’m enjoying a lot of paddle-boarding. I’m still very active in the water so anything aquatic.”

At the recent Laureus World Sports awards Her Serene Highness handed over the Sport for Good award to the Waves for Change organization based in Cape Town. The programme is using surf-therapy as way of assisting the youth from disadvantaged communities. She says it was a special moment.

“It was the first time that I’d seen anything of this kind and I thought it was so inspirational, so touching, so moving and wow, I’m so proud that it came from South Africa.”

The Princess’s love for South Africa still runs deep and, as she told us, she loves returning home, highlighting that her heritage will play an important role in how she raises her children, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.

“I am African, this is my home. It’s in my heart and in my veins. I can’t wait for them to come here; and I can’t wait for them to be introduced to Africa.”

Episode 4 also features a full length interview with cyclist Grant Lottering. In 2013 he survived a major accident while cycling a race in Italy from which many have described his recovery as a miracle. Quite simply he shouldn’t be here anymore.

Within months he was back on his bike and spent the subsequent years embarking on his I’mpossible Tour. Not content with breaking new ground in 2016 – 48 hours non-stop and raising over R1 million for the Laureus Foundation – Lottering will now look to double the attempt in July 2017.

Smyth sat down with Lottering to not only find out about his daunting, upcoming attempt but to gain an insight into the mind of what it takes to accomplish the I’mpossible.

“I was lying there feeling sorry for myself. I was totally overwhelmed by the situation, I found myself in being in a foreign hospital; and then the doctor that treated me on the road, who saved my life, came to me and saw me, sat with me. He said two things to me that completely changed the way I looked at life.

He said: “you survived death”, number one. And I’d never thought of it that way, you know. How do you survive death? If you die, you die.

“And then he said to me; “there’s a reason you did, what you do with your life now is up to you”, and that just changed everything. It changed the way I looked at my situation and in the next couple of days I had this vision in my mind that I’m going to go home and get back on my bike, come hell or high water and I’m going to come back and do this race. I’ve still got this little notebook at home which I had in hospital with me in which I wrote: ‘I’ll be back next near’.”

Lottering also delves deep into his past as he looks for what resources he’s managed to untap that’s allowed him to achieve what he has. Ultimately though he says it’s a simple process.

“I always say that to audiences when I speak to them: “who can put up their hand and say that they’ve reached their full potential?” And no one ever can because it’s not limited, you don’t have only so much potential but in terms of the way we think, you do. We put a lid on it.”

Also in this episode we stop in at the Discovery Sports Industry awards in South Africa and catch up with Chairman of the Group, Mr. Sgwili Gumede, as well as Chief Marketing Officer for Discovery Health, Dinesh Govender, and the Head of Vitality Wellness and Laureus trustee, Dr. Craig Nossel.

A glittering night in Sandton saw the industry’s movers and shakers recognized after a stellar performance over the last year in tough economic conditions. But it was, arguably, the lifetime achievement award handed to golfing legend Gary Player that stole the show.

Download the Power of Sport to listen to his moving, memorable acceptance speech.

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