UIPM Patron HM King Constantine celebrates 80th birthday
UIPM’s Patron, His Majesty King Constantine, who celebrated his 80th birthday on June 2, was an accomplished athlete who achieved one of the greatest moments in Greek Olympic history.
Crown Prince Constantine was born in Athens in 1940. Growing up by the Mediterranean meant that he was naturally drawn to sailing, like his father King Constantine before him. The Crown Prince trained in all five disciplines of Modern Pentathlon before his sailing career took off.
Along with crewmates Odysseus Eskitzoglou and Georgios Zaimis - his sister, Sophia, was a member of the substitute crew - the 20-year-old was able to bring the ultimate sporting prize home to Greece for the first time in 48 years.
His Majesty’s contribution to the Olympic movement was not confined to activities on the water. In 1963, a year before he succeeded his father on the throne, King Constantine II became a Member of the International Olympic Committee and served until 1974, whereupon he became an Honorary Member.
In 1994, King Constantine accepted an invitation to become Patron of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon (UIPMB), and in 2016 His Majesty became one of the first inductees to the UIPM Hall of Fame.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann: “I am sure that all members of the global UIPM community would join me in wishing His Majesty King Constantine a happy 80th birthday.
“I first met His Majesty when I was President of UIPMB, at his office in London on June 5, 1994 accompanied by Dominic Mahony (GBR), then Chair of the UIPM Athletes Committee.
“In the autumn of 1994 His Majesty accepted an invitation to become Patron of UIPMB, from which UIPM became a separate entity in 1998.
“The King’s patronage has been very important to our movement since 1994 and we are honoured to call His Majesty a member of our global UIPM Family.”