Week 272 (29 December 2018 - 4 January 2019)
Millions of Formula 1 fans can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that Michael Schumacher had suffered a potentially life-threatening head injury from a skiing accident in 2013. But thankfully the memories of what Schumacher had achieved during his 21 year record-breaking career are also indelible.
Ongoing and relentless speculation about the great man’s health, after disappearing from the public eye, led to Schumacher’s family releasing a rare public statement ahead of the F1 legend’s 50th birthday this week.
The heartfelt statement thanked Schumacher’s fans for their continued support and well-wishes for the most decorated star in F1. Schumacher’s family have always been very private about his condition, which is being treated in his home on Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
The Schumacher family stated that they want to use Michael’s birthday to “remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation” through Michael50, an app containing a virtual museum of Schumacher’s greatest achievements.
This innovative concept is bound to appeal to a global generation of motorsport fans. Schumacher won a record of 91 Grand Prix races and 7 World Championships during his career, making him the most successful F1 driver in the history of the sport.
Schumacher started his glittering career with Jordan in 1991, before joining Benetton later that year. After five years at Benetton, Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996, where he would stay for 10 years. Schumacher initially retired from the sport in 2006 after 10 memorable years at Ferrari, before returning with Mercedes in 2010 for 3 seasons.
“As a gift to him, you and us, the Keep Fighting Foundation has created a virtual museum,” the Schumacher family statement read. “The app is another milestone in our efforts to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments.”
The Keep Fighting Foundation was established in the wake of Schumacher’s ski accident in 2013 and is a non-profit initiative inspired by Schumacher’s competitive spirit and his attitude of never giving up.
“Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we! That's why we remember his successes with the Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition in Cologne, by publishing memories in social media and by continuing his charitable work through the Keep Fighting Foundation. We want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation.”
Schumacher’s most successful team, Ferrari, have also launched their own exhibition at their Maranello base, celebrating the driver’s achievements with the team.
By creating the Michael50 app, Schumacher’s family has presented motorsport fans with a special opportunity to reflect on the impact he has and continues to have on world sport. This pioneering and poignant tribute makes the Schumacher family the JTA Communicator of the Week.
Image: Wikimedia Commons