1997 - 2001
On 8th January 1997, the Principality of Monaco celebrated 700 years of the Grimaldi dynasty.Various ceremonies and festivities took place and as part of the celebrations, the M.O.C. organised Olympic Day on 26th May during which the 6 major dates in the history of the M.O.C. were recounted by 60 secondary school students on the terraces of the Casino. :
- 1907 : its creation,
- 1920 : first participation in the Olympic Games (Anvers Olympics),
- 1921 : first Women's Olympics,
- 1955 : creation of the Olympic anthem,
- 1968 : the Olympic torch crosses through the Principality,
- 1993 : 101st Session of the M.O.C. in Monaco.
On 31st March 1998, the M.O.C. accepted the membership of 3 new sports federations: equitation, triathlon and taekwondo, bringing the total number of members to 15.
Under the supervision of Lucien Orengo, their head of mission, 4 young Monegasque athletes aged between 13 and 17, Diane Dupont (synchronised swimming), Florent Battistel (athletics), Pierre Gambarini and Yann Bertrand (tennis) left for Moscow to take part in the World Youth Olympic Games from 11th to 19th July. The event, grouping together 6 500 boys and girls from 139 countries, reached a very high level of sportsmanship.
1999, marked by the celebration of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III’s jubilee, whose work accomplished since his accession to the throne on 9th May 1949 remained exemplary, also represented an opportunity for the expression of Monegasque sport, notably by the Principality taking part in the Games of the Small States of Europe in Liechtenstein.
On 18th January 2000, at a reception hosted for the athletes of the 96 Summer Olympics and the 98 Winter Olympics, H.S.H. the Hereditary Prince Albert, Vice-President of the I.O.C. Athletes’ Commission and recently appointed to represent them within the Admissions and Marketing Commissions, expressed his wish “let there be peace and weapons be silent”, pointing out that “this was also an Olympic year”, hoping once again that “the values that have made Olympism be respected”.
|Athletes from the Atlanta and Nagano Olympic Games are presented with pins|
After presenting each athlete with an I.O.C. pin, the President of the M.O.C. paid particular tribute to the Vice-President, Mr Henry Rey, by awarding him the I.O.C. Trophy for “Sports Ethics”.
2001, declared by the UN as “International Year of Volunteers” was to be a particularly active year for the M.O.C.For the first time, a Monegasque skier was to take part in the V Winter European Youth Olympic Festival, which took place in Finland from 10th to 16th March. The young Audrey Rinaldi, competing in the slalom with 72 candidates, succeeded in achieving the 31st position.
On 22nd June, during a reception hosted in the Méridien Beach Plaza Hotel for Olympic Day, H.S.H. the Hereditary Prince Albert announced the establishment of the Status of High Level Sports Athlete together with a Convention setting out the general framework of possible relationships between the Monaco Government, an athlete, the federation to which the latter belonged, an employer and the M.O.C.
This convention would make it possible for the most outstanding athletes to benefit from the best training conditions so that they would be able to justly represent the Principality of Monaco in international competitions, in particular pre-Olympic and Olympic events.The first athletes to benefit from this new status were Fabienne Pasetti (Monegasque Shooting Federation), Jean-François Calmes (Bobsleigh Federation), Sylvain Faure (Swimming Federation), Thierry Vatrican (Judo Federation), Sébastien Gattuso (Athletics Federation), Charles Oula and Patrice Servelle (Bobsleigh Federation).
At the end of 2001, the Principality of Monaco played host to the Association of European National Olympic Committees (AENOC) for its 30th General Assembly.
As Dr Jacques Rogge, the appointed President since 1989, who had been elected 4 months previously as President of the I.O.C., had to relinquish his European mandate, the 350 delegates who represented the entire 48 committees, set up their new Executive Committee :
- President (elected with 47 votes out of 48):the Italian Mario Pescante, 63,
- Vice-President (34 votes):the Russian Alexandre Kozlovsky, 57,
- Secretary General (25 votes):The Irishman Patrick Hickey,
- Members: 15 elected members.
The Year of “Volunteers” drew to its close on 5th December with a special day during which several hundred volunteers from various Monegasque associations paraded through the streets of Monaco, before gathering together in the Fontvieille Big Top for an enjoyable evening with the H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Albert.
H.S.H. the Hereditary Prince Albert pictured with the volunteers
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