Michael Schumacher may have been out of the cockpit of a Formula One car for a year, but he continues to pick up awards for his contribution to the sport.

The latest recognition bestowed on the seven-time world champion came, ironically, from the home region of the man who deprived him of an eighth crown in 2006, with Schumacher's glittering career being honoured by the Fundaci?n Pr?ncipe de Asturias.

The Foundation has conferred awards in various categories since 1981, recognising significant contributions to the fields of science, technology, culture, society and humanitarian work carried out internationally by individuals, groups or organisations in eight categories. Schumacher took the award in the sports category for 2007, joining such luminaries as Al Gore and Bob Dylan on this year's winners list, after his contributions to UNESCO and the Asian tsunami relief fund were taken into account.

The German was put forward as a candidate by former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, and overcame MotoGP ace Valentino Rossi, athlete Yelena Isinbayeva and tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the voting. It was not the first time that the German had been under consideration, however, but he missed out to the Brazilian soccer team in 2002.

"The jury decided, by majority vote, to bestow the 2007 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports on German racecar driver Michael Schumacher," notes from the Foundation confirmed, "The career of this sportsman speaks of the greatest accomplishments achieved in every category.

"He was proclaimed best European sportsman by this continent?s Sports Journalists? Association in 1994, 2001 and 2002 and, since 1995, he is a UNESCO Special Envoy for Education and Sports. In 2004, he donated E1.5m to this organisation and, in 2005, he allotted $10m to the victims of the tsunami that devastated south-east Asia. He currently promotes sports events with the purpose of raising funds for charitable organisations and training underprivileged sportspeople. His humanitarian values have been acknowledged by numerous worldwide associations."

Oviedo native Alonso won the same award two years ago, following his first world title, while motorcycle racer Sito Pons collected the 1990 edition.

 

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