Monaco is celebrity central. And last weekend, my wife, Linda, and I had the chance to mingle with some of the biggest celebrities in the world–Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher, Kim Kardashian, Prince Albert, Adrian Brody, Padraig Harrington, Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, and of course, the princess to be, Madame Charlene Wittstock. But I bet no one could guess who the hottest celebrities in Monaco for the Formula 1 Grand Prix were this year!
Amidst the celebrity-filled events, including the Amber Lounge Fashion Show for Special Olympics and the Jet Set Yacht Party hosted by Jet Set and Denise Rich, Special Olympics athletes Sandra Franco and Philippe Calmes stole the show. All of us from Special Olympics were treated like royalty, thanks to the gracious hospitality of our hosts and supporters, including Madame Mireille Calmes, President of Special Olympics Monaco; Oliver Sodeik, Board Member of Special Olympics Monaco; Peter Kappler, CEO of Jet Set; celebrity philanthropist Denise Rich; and Sonia Irvine, CEO of Amber Lounge. And yet, despite the beauty and grandeur of the event, Sandra and Philippe, who will be competing at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, showed us what it means to impress. They were the life of the party, talking openly with everyone whether they were rock stars or waitresses. They flashed their smiles of pride and exuberance to anyone who looked their way and showed us what it means to win a high stakes race with their life, filled with courage and perseverance.
Special Olympics is beyond lucky to have the chance to welcome Madame Charlene Wittstock to our movement as a Global Ambassador. And we were so fortunate to have our longtime leaders Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci and Angelo Moratti in Monaco to represent our movement. Linda and I felt incredibly privileged to be a small part of one of the most exciting events in the world.
But make no mistake: the real celebrities of the weekend were Sandra and Philippe. I hope you will follow them on their road to Athens. I guarantee you’ll learn something new about how to win the big race–the race of life.