"If, sometimes, we've neglected great friends like you," the invitation begins, "please join us at the Love and Friendship event." Love and Friendship event? Yes, complete with complimentary flower garlands. And wait 'til you learn who the host was: THAI, the airline of Thailand. The company staged its party to apologize to and try to win back 300 people who complained about poor service. Can you picture a US carrier doing that?
All looked politically correct as President Milan Kucan's plane rolled to a stop at the airport in Bucharest, Romania, for the start of a state visit last week. Red-white-and-blue flags of Slovenia flapped in the breeze, and an honor guard waited to greet him. But then the band struck up the national anthem ... of Slovakia. Drawing on all his diplomatic skill, Kucan ignored the slip.
Tiger Woods won male athlete of the year for a third time and two other honors at the 10th annual ESPY awards for sports achievements presented last week by the sports-cable network ESPN. Venus Williams was named top female athlete and tennis player. A partial list of the 2002 winners, selected by a panel of 151 Hall of Fame athletes, coaches, and journalists:
Male athlete: Tiger Woods
Female athlete: Venus Williams
Comeback athlete: Jennifer Capriati
Breakthrough athlete: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Major League Baseball player: Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants
Male golfer: Tiger Woods
Female golfer: Annika Sorenstam
Record-breaking moment: Woods wins fourth consecutive major tournament.
Male tennis player: Lleyton Hewitt
Female tennis player: Venus Williams