One of the fun fan passions at any Olympics is collecting pins. You can spot the collectors on the streets here in Gastown and around Vancouver because their lapels or sleeves are aglitter with pins from competing nations, exhibits, sponsors, etc. Each pin is a special memory or, if you traded for it with someone you just met on the street or at a venue, a new friend. Still, not all pins are created equal. When HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco pinned Yang Zho Cho at a party at Bob Rennie’s new gallery in Chinatown,
the Prince also was welcoming Mr. Cho as an official ambassador for the Peace and Sport Foundation.
Prince Albert is Peace and Sports High Patron. For those who just tuned in, he is the son of the late Prince Ranier and Princess Grace, a.k.a. movie mega-star Grace Kelly.
Mr. Cho, the chairman of Hanjin Group and Korean Air, also is chairman of the Korea Table Tennis Association and active in the sport internationally.
He is the tenth ambassador of Peace and Sport, the first from Asia. Joel Bouzou, president of Peace and Sport and a former Olympic medalist and modern pentathlon world champion, was here for the event. So too was Canada’s Charmaine Crooks, among many other current and past Olympians. Bob Rennie’s stunning $10-million space is the Athletes Reunion Centre for these Winter Games and champions past and present have been dropping by.
Peace and Sport, launched in 2007, sponsors programs in the third world that increase access to sport for young people. Not professional sport or top-tier competition such as the Olympics ‹ just kids having fun at the community level, breaking down barriers while learning about mutual respect and fair play.
Someone should give them a medal. Or a pin at least.