How Spain's King Felipe VI Became An Olympic Athlete

One of the most interesting royals to date has to be His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain. While the young monarch may not be on the front page of tabloids as much as his English royal counterparts, the 54-year-old king has led a very thought-provoking life thus far.

Nicknamed the Prince of Asturias, Felipe was born in 1968 the son of ex-king Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía. According to U.K. magazine The Week, a series of high-profile scandals in the family led to Felipe's father abdicating in 2014. Felipe, who was just 46 at the time, found himself in a precarious position as the next in line to be king of Spain. Would he be able to satisfactorily lead his nation after such a huge decline in favor towards not just his family but monarchy in general?

A survey published by the paper El Espanol in 2020 says yes. The results show King Felipe has an approval rating of a whopping 64%. This was even more than his approval rating just one year prior that stood at 49% (via Royal Central). Perhaps the main reason his approval is so high is because the people of Spain can see his dedication to and love for his country, as his time as an Olympic athlete proves.

He was a flag bearer for Spain and on the Olympic sailing team in 1992

King Felipe VI, who was prince at the time, became an Olympian and his country's pride when he was just 24 years old. It was the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and the Spanish prince was excited to join his fellow countrymen as they competed at the most important sporting event in the world.

In a YouTube video posted to the channel of the Spanish Olympics Committee, His Majesty states it was an honor to participate and represent his country. He was especially excited to be on the sailing team, as he would be working towards victory in a group. In the video, he is seen during the opening ceremony surrounded by other Olympic athletes as he proudly waves the flag of Spain. Per the official website of the Royal Household of His Majesty, Felipe's team placed sixth and was awarded an Olympic Diploma.

The crown prince competed alongside various big-name athletes at the 1992 Olympics including Michael Jordan, whose Dream Team brought home gold in basketball (via

His father, mother, and sister competed in the Olympics

The Spanish royal family is no stranger to competitive sports. In fact, many of the royals have competed on the Olympic stage over the years. According to People, four years before her brother held the flag of Spain during the parade of nations, Infanta Cristina was an Olympian at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Like her younger brother, Cristina seems to be most at home while at sea. She was a member of Spain's sailing team.

The king of Spain and his sister most likely got their athletic prowess and love of sailing from their parents. Both Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía participated in the Olympics during their youth. Top End Sports reports that the former princess of Greece appeared at the 1960 Olympics in Rome as a reserve member for the sailing team. She was representing Greece. Juan Carlos placed 15th in the Dragon sailing event at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

Will the Spanish royal children follow in their family's footsteps and make an appearance at the next summer Olympics? Only time will tell.