Things didn’t go exactly as I planned in the 1994 Olympics. But I can say that I truly cherish the memories and the friendships I forged with my fellow Olympians. I’m still honored that Prince Albert of Monaco invited me to come watch his competition at those games, and even more honored when he agreed to be a contributor of what has become my best-selling book. Prince Albert shared with me that despite all he has done as a ruler for Monaco, it is his experience as an Olympian that has most shaped his life....
Prince Albert II
(Story excerpt from When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out)
“On deck, a bobsled team that is new to the Olympic track…Monaco! And surprisingly, holding the reins is Monaco’s own Prince Albert II.”
I think my bobsledding surprised many people—or “troubled many people” may be a more appropriate phrase. I know most everyone envisioned me sitting on a royal throne rather than in the driver’s seat of an Olympic bobsled. Quite frankly, those closest to me were likely more comfortable with that “royal” picture as well.
As I visualized the undulating turns and dips that I would soon encounter, watched by a quarter of the world’s population, my nerves began to dance and my pulse quickened. Soon I would be experiencing that tingly feeling I had before every bobsled run.
It was that same tingly sensation I would feel many years later, when confronted with the daunting task of speaking in front of over eight hundred dignitaries at the United Nations. But the years I spent testing my nerves at the top of various bobsled tracks around the world gave me the strength and bravado that I would need to conquer my fears.
I found myself hating my internal reactions to the danger, but somehow craving it at the same time. That danger always brought on a feeling of uncertainty, where I questioned if I was actually up to the challenge. There were even times when I wondered if I would survive the run.