© Photo : Imago Sport and NewsMichael Schumacher
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MOSCOW, 21 July – Seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher has been awarded the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia, of which he is a native, according to the official Twitter account of the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The North Rhine-Westphalia State Prize is the highest award that can be given to a civilian. It is awarded to those who were born in the region and who have made an outstanding contribution to social activities.
Schumacher was awarded “for outstanding sporting achievements and in recognition of his exemplary commitment to his native country.” The ceremony was attended by his wife Corinna and daughter Gina-Maria, and former sports director of the Ferrari team Jean Todt also delivered a speech.
Schumacher donated 1.5 million euros to UNESCO and also paid for the construction of a school in Senegal. Bloomberg estimates that Schumacher donated at least $50 million to various charities between 2002 and 2006. He also urged the UN to recognize the high number of road deaths as a global health problem.
On December 29, 2013, Schumacher was seriously injured in a fall while skiing in Méribel, France. The rider received a craniocerebral injury with multiple damage to both hemispheres of the brain. In December 2018, it was reported that Schumacher was no longer bedridden and did not need a ventilator. In September 2019, it was reported that the athlete was secretly hospitalized in a Paris clinic, where he received stem cell treatment. In June 2020, the media reported that Schumacher would have a new stem cell transplant operation.