Copyright: imago sportfotodienst
After his serious skiing accident, nothing is the same for Michael Schumacher as it was before. The former Formula 1 driver is now receiving a high award for his services in Cologne.
Great honor for one of our greatest! Michael Schumacher (53) receives the State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The award ceremony by Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (46) will take place on July 20 at Motorworld Cologne.
Wife Corinna (53) and the two children Gina-Maria (25) and Mick (23) accept the award on their behalf. Schumi himself will not be there. Since his tragic skiing accident on December 29, 2013, he has been living isolated in rehabilitation in Switzerland.
Michael Schumacher receives the State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
His close friend Jean Todt (76) gave the eulogy. The Frenchman brought the Kerpener to Ferrari in 1996, formed a series winner with him from the unsuccessful team and celebrated five driver and six constructor titles in Formula 1 together.
But not only with his sporting successes did Schumi make a great contribution to Germany. He also showed social commitment with his commitment to road safety, his work as an ambassador for UNESCO and emergency aid and his numerous donations, such as for the tsunami victims.
Nevertheless, Schumi was denied the Federal Cross of Merit in 2007 and 2011 by the then Federal Presidents Horst Köhler (79) and Christian Wulff (63). A flaw that Prime Minister Wüst is now concealing within the scope of his possibilities. The State Prize is the highest award of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Hendrik Wüst praises Michael Schumacher’s commitment
“Michael Schumacher’s work as an athlete and as a supporter of a good cause radiates far beyond the borders of his homeland of North Rhine-Westphalia,” said NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (46).
To this day, Schumacher is one of the “outstanding personalities in global sports history”. As a person, he “never lost his feet on the ground and always kept an eye on his fellow human beings,” explained Wüst.
These words are of course balm for the mental wounds of the Schumacher family, who have lovingly cared for him since his fateful day. The fan club chairman Reiner Ferling (70) knows that too.
Michael Schumacher: Award as a great honor
“I think it’s a really great thing that the state of North Rhine-Westphalia remembers what Michael has done for the whole of Germany. He was born in Hürth and grew up in Kerpen, but he wasn’t even made an honorary citizen here,” says Ferling.
“The State Prize is also a great honor for the Schumacher family, who have been making life as good as possible for him for years. We all hope that Michael is doing well and that he may be able to attend the ceremony virtually,” Ferling continued.
The State Prize is the highest award of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is usually awarded once a year. Most recently, in 2019, the former Federal Environment Minister Klaus Töpfer (83) received the award. The state prize was not awarded in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Among other things, the prize is awarded for outstanding cultural or scientific achievements or outstanding achievements in other areas of life.