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Prince of Asturias Award for Sports 2007
Michael Schumacher, known as the kaiser (Hürth-Hermülheim, Alemania, 1969), mechanic by profession, started out, as most of his rivals did, by driving karts as a child and when he was six years old he was already winning competitions in this category. In 1984 he was proclaimed the German Junior Kart Champion and was the world runner-up the following year. In 1987 he won the German and European titles. After winning several titles in the different categories he raced in, in 1990 he won the German Formula 3 Championship and in 1991 he came in fourth at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He made his Formula 1 debut that same year and won his first victory at the Belgian GP. He has won 91 Grand Prix throughout his career.
In 1994 during the final race, held at Adelaida (Australia) and leading by one point, he was proclaimed the Formula 1 world champion with the Benetton team, thus becoming the youngest driver to earn this title. The following year at the Aida circuit in Japan, after numerous victories in several circuits, he earned the world championship title for the second time. In 1996 he raced his first world championship with Ferrari, coming in third place. He had to wait until 2000 to conquer his third world championship title. A year later he regained the title. In 2002, when he won his fifth world championship, he equalled the record set by Juan Manuel Fangio, which stood for five decades. Schumacher set the new record at seven titles with his victories in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 he came in third at the first world championship won by Fernando Alonso. He retired from Formula 1 the following season. After his retirement from Formula 1 racing in 2006, he competed in motorcycle racing in 2007. Schumacher returned to Formula 1 racing in 2010 under the orders of Ross Brawn in the Mercedes-Benz team. He retired definitively at the end of 2012 following the announcement of the signing of Lewis Hamilton. He suffered a serious ski accident in the winter resort of Méribel in the French Alps on 29th December 2013. He left Grenoble University Hospital in 2014 after coming out of a coma and is currently at home recovering from his injuries.
He was proclaimed the best European sportsman by the European Sports Journalists´ Association on three occasions: 1994, 2001 and 2002. He has been honoured with the French Academy of Sport Award and newspaper L'Equipe, which had already named him "champion of champions" on two occasions, labelled him the "champion of World champions" in 2003. In 2002 the World Academy of Sport granted him the 2002 Laureus Award for the best sportsman of 2001. In April 2002 he was named the UNESCO champion for Sport. A big fan of football, he has taken part in numerous benefit matches, next to players from the main European teams. In 2004 the race car driver donated 1.15 million Euros to UNESCO and in 2005 he allotted 10 million dollars for the victims of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia.
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