Princess Charlene of Monaco might have retired from competitive swimming in 2007, but the former Olympic swimmer is currently training for a new water challenge. Prince Albert ’s wife, 42, will participate in “The Crossing: Calvi - Monaco Water Bike Challenge” later this year. The sporting challenge, which was announced on Tuesday, is set to take place Sept. 12 and 13. For almost 24-hours, two teams of four internationally renowned athletes, including Princess Charlene, will take turns biking from Calvi in northwest Corsica to Monaco. The competitors will bike over a distance of 180 km. The objective is to arrive at the Yacht Club de Monaco in the shortest possible time via water bike. Charlene will be cycling her way into the history books as she becomes the “first woman to ever take part in a crossing.”
Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella ’s mother has been photographed gearing up for the rigorous sporting event. Earlier this month, the royal’s namesake foundation shared a photo of Charlene on her bike captioned, “H.S.H Princess Charlène training on the water bike.” The Princess also posted a gorgeous image of herself biking off into the sunset on her personal social media account. Charlene showed off her sporty side back in 2018 competing in the Riviera Water Bike Challenge along with Prince Albert.
The challenge this year will raise awareness for programs run by The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, which the South African-born royal launched in 2012 to save lives. “Together, we will save lives – one person, one family, one community at a time,” Charlene has said. The foundation’s mission is to raise public awareness about the dangers of water and drowning, to teach children preventative measures to decrease water-related morbidity and mortality, and to teach people how to swim.
In a 2017 op-ed piece, Charlene stressed the importance of water safety. “For a long time, water was my life. Discovering the joy of swimming inspired me to dedicate 20 years of my life to training and realizing my dream to be become an Olympic swimmer,” she penned. “Training and competing in the water taught me the importance of discipline, respect for oneself and others, team spirit and dedication. Most significantly, I saw how learning to swim could not only change lives, as it did mine, but also save lives.”
Charlene added, “I’m also all too aware of the risks associated with water. Learning to respect the water, and learning how to swim and stay safe in it can reduce these risks and give us great confidence and freedom.”