Monaco wins its best Olympic sports ranking, 6th in bobsleigh
“It means a lot,” Rinaldi said. “We have struggled a lot over the past four years. I think we knew that one day we could fight for it. So, of course, we are happy. We are happy for Monaco.
Unless you want to call architecture a sport.
In 1924, Julien Médecin won a bronze medal for Monaco in architecture, in the long-defunct art competition at the Olympics. This medal does not count in the official Olympic rankings, and in another oddity, this event did not have a gold medal – just silver and bronze, as the judges did not believe that any of the projects submissive was worth gold.
Monaco is probably best known in Olympic circles for bobsleigh – which started when Prince Albert II, a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985 who has made no effort to hide his passion for the sport, competed in the Calgary Games in 1988. It was the first of five Olympic appearances for Albert, who also competed as Albert Grimaldi.
The prince – also keen on skiing, swimming, windsurfing and judo – has never placed better than 25th in an Olympic bobsleigh race.
“I’m sure we know why,” Rinaldi said. “It’s the prince. He had better things to do.
Bobsledding has been the work of Rinaldi and Vain for about a decade now. Four years ago they were 19th in the two-man bobsleigh at the Pyeongchang Games, and before Tuesday Monaco’s best Olympic bobsleigh performance was a 12th-place finish by Patrice Servelle and Jeremy Bottin at the Turin Games in 2006.
“We are a small country,” Rinaldi said. “I guess we needed more time to build something strong, to learn from our mistakes.”
Counting the Summer Games and excluding the arrival of Médecin, Monaco’s best Olympic performance in any sport was ninth place in taekwondo at the Sydney Games in 2000, in judo at the London Games in 2012 and at again in judo at the Tokyo Games last year.
Rinaldi said he would likely retire, which had been his plan for some time. He and Vain leave without a medal, but see no reason to be disappointed.
“We said, ‘Let’s do something crazy,'” Vain said. “And I guess we did.”
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