The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today that former Major League Baseball All-Star and Hall of Fame nominee Barry Larkin and former Montreal Expos pitcher Joe Logan will travel to South Korea February 13-19, 2011. As sports diplomacy envoys, Larkin and Logan will visit Seoul, Gwangju, and Jeju Island, where they will conduct baseball clinics with youth baseball players, meet with North Korean defectors, and speak to local students. In addition, the sports diplomacy envoys will hold discussions on the importance of diversity with nongovernmental organizations and minority groups.
Sports diplomacy envoys build on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case baseball – to bring people together and foster greater understanding among people and cultures.
Barry Larkin, a former short-stop, was a member of the Cincinnati Reds’ 1990 World Series champions team. Joe Logan is a former pitcher for the Montreal Expos. This is Larkin and Logan’s third trip as sports diplomacy envoys.
SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ premier sports exchange program at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches in various sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and speak to youth overseas. The American athletes and coaches conduct drills and team building activities, as well as engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of an education, positive health practices and respect for diversity. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent more than 100 U.S. athletes to 40 countries to participate in sports envoy programs.
For more information, please contact Talley Sergent of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at (202) 632-6043, SergentRT@state.gov or Brian Gibel at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, 82-2-397-4723, GibelBM@state.gov.