Royal Welcome for Jean-Michel Saive, Audience with King Philippe
Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Jean-Michel (left) brings signed rackets for the children of King Philippe (right)
Photo By: Courtesy of Philippe Saive
A royal welcome was the order of the day for Jean-Michel Saive on Tuesday 5th January; he met with King Philippe of the Belgians for one hour.
Christmas may now have passed but, the 46 year old who recently announced his retirement from international play, did not arrive empty handed at the Palace, he was a bearer of gifts.
Rackets for Princes and Princesses "I came with four rackets because I know that the princes and princesses play a little table tennis, so I thought it was nice to give them a racket”, explained Jean-Michel Saive when speaking to journalists from RTN Sport
"King Philippe asked me several questions about my career, about the most important moments and what I was going to do now”, added Jean-Michel Saive. “He thanked me and congratulated me for the success achieved in my career and for what I have done for the country; also we spoke about some technical issues regarding table tennis.”
Autographed Photograph Presents from Jean-Michel Saive; he was also the recipient of a present. He received an autographed photo of the royal couple.
"I think I'll hang it in my office”, smiled Jean-Michel Saive.
International Career Continues The gift was well merited and underlines the level of respect that Jean-Michel Saive has gained over the years; an international career in the playing arenas of the world may be over but the international career will continue.
Jean-Michel Saive is one of the 24 candidates for the four seats available on Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee. Elections will be held at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.