GM In PARK CITYFOR RELEASE: February 21, 2002
Eugenio Monti Is Named The 3rd Greatest Olympian Of All-Time
Greenspan Reveals His Selection at Park City Celebration
PARK CITY- Award-winning Olympic historian and filmmaker Bud Greenspan, in partnership with General Motors, today honored Italian bobsledder Eugenio Monti as the 3rd Greatest Winter Olympian of all-time in a celebration at the Chevy Hot Zone at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, UT.
As part of the event, Greenspan premiered a short film on Monti, who attended the ceremony and was presented with a replica of the GM Eternal Flame Sculpture, which was commissioned by GM to symbolize the Olympic Spirit.
Monti won six Olympic medals - two gold, two silver, two bronze - over three Olympic Games. It was in 1964, however, where Monti's true nature shone. He offered to withdraw from the competition and loan his axle bolt to his rival, Great Britain's Tony Nash, whose own bolt had broken. Nash was able to compete with his own replacement bolt, and won the gold medal, while Monti took the bronze. His gesture, however, was not forgotten. Monti was awarded the first Pierre de Coubertin Award for Sportsmanship for his aiding of Nash.
"Eugenio Monti is deserving of the title as the Greatest Bobsled Driver in history," said Greenspan. "His career was significant, and his gesture of friendship and good sportsmanship in 1964 has been an inspiration for all who compete at the Olympic Games."
General Motors Presents Bud Greenspan's 10 Greatest Winter Olympians was conceived as a platform for Greenspan, in his 50th year of chronicling the Olympic Games, to celebrate Olympians and help mark his legacy to the Olympic Movement. Greenspan announced his selections for the 25 Greatest Winter Olympians in January, culled from the more than 20,000 athletes who have competed in the Olympic Winter Games.
Joining Monti on Greenspan's list are French skier Jean-Claude Killy (10th), Swiss skier Vreni Schneider (9th), Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak (8th), U.S. speed skaters Eric Heiden (7th) and Bonnie Blair (6th), Norwegian speed skater Johann Olav Koss (5th), and U.S. figure skater Dick Button and Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie, who were honored jointly as the 4th Greatest Winter Olympians.
The next athlete - the 2nd Greatest Winter Olympian - will be revealed on February 22nd, and the top choice will be honored on February 23. The events take place at the Chevy Hot Zone in Park City, beginning at 3 p.m. The celebrations are open to the public and admission is free.
Announced in early January were Greenspan's following selections for the 25 Greatest Winter Olympians of all-time:
Myriam Bedard, Canada, Biathlon; Bonnie Blair, United States, Speed Skating; Dick Button, United States, Figure Skating; Lee-Kyung Chun, Republic of Korea, Short Track Speed Skating;Deborah Compagnoni, Italy, Alpine Skiing; Bjorn Daehlie, Norway, Cross Country Skiing; Peggy Fleming, United States, Figure Skating; Gillis Grafstrom, Sweden, Figure Skating; Eric Heiden, United States, Speed Skating; Sonja Henie, Norway, Figure Skating; Dan Jansen, United States, Speed Skating; Jean-Claude Killy, France, Alpine Skiing; Johann Olav Koss, Norway, Speed Skating; Andrea Mead Lawrence, United States, Alpine Skiing; Eugenio Monti, Italy, Bobsled; Irina Rodnina, Russia, Figure Skating; Birger Ruud, Norway, Ski Jumping; Toni Sailer, Austria, Alpine Skiing; Vreni Schneider, Switzerland, Alpine Skiing; Lydia Skoblikova, Russia, Speed Skating; Alberto Tomba, Italy, Alpine Skiing; Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Great Britain, Figure Skating; Vladislav Tretiak, Russia, Ice Hockey; Ulrich Wehling, Germany, Nordic Combined; Katarina Witt, Germany, Figure Skating.
Bud Greenspan has been called the foremost writer/producer/director of sports films and one of the world's leading sports historians. He has received a George Foster Peabody award and a Director's Guild of America award for lifetime achievement, seven Emmy Awards, and the Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee. Both the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the United States Track & Field Association have honored him with Lifetime Achievement Awards for his commitment in capturing the humanity of sport on film. Greenspan will produce the Official Film of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, and this will mark the seventh in a series of Official Olympic films, which include the Nagano, Lillehammer and Calgary Olympic Winter Games and the Sydney, Atlanta and Los Angeles Olympic Games.
General Motors, the world's largest vehicle manufacturer and official domestic automotive partner of the U.S. Olympic Team through 2004, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide. By providing transportation solutions for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games through its significant commitments to the USOC and the SLOC, General Motors is helping bring the Olympic Spirit to communities everywhere.