March 7, 2005 Formula One driver Michael Schumacher and swimmer Ian Thorpe presented each other with timepieces yesterday, in one of those rare moments where masters of different sports get together and recognise each other's achievements thanks to a common sponsor - in this case Omega. Omega employs a number of ambassadors including golfers Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els, actor Piece Brosnan (aka James Bond), supermodels Cindy Crawford and the highly strategic Pan Asian supermodel Qi Qi, swimmers Alexander Popov and Michael Phelps, tennis model Anna Kournikova, yachting personalities Ellen MacArthur and Dean Barker, big wave surfer Gerry Lopez, pop idol Coco Lee and astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan (the last man to have set foot on the moon), though the brightest stars on the books are undoubtedly Schumacher and Thorpe.
It was the first time the two, both arguably the world's best ever athletes in their respective sports, had met, and the opportunity came at the 2005 Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Michael Schumacher presented his own OMEGA Speedmaster 'The Legend' timepiece to Ian Thorpe, and Thorpe present Schumacher with the yet-to-be- released OMEGA Planet Ocean, a new professional diving watch that the swim star will represent for the brand worldwide.
Thorpe said, "It was great to meet Michael and see the Ferrari garage and team at work. I admire Michael's athleticism enormously."
Michael Schumacher, Formula One's reigning world champion, has been an OMEGA ambassador since 1996 and has seven world championship titles under his belt. He is also an avid watch fan and owns numerous OMEGA timepieces.
Ian Thorpe has been an OMEGA ambassador since 1997, when he was first awarded an Olympic 2000 scholarship by the brand. Thorpe has since become the international face of the OMEGA Seamaster Professional Diving range.