Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Serve, Bigger Heart

You don't have to have played with a Bancroft Players Special in the late '70s like I did to be blown away by Martina Navratilova's appearance on The Tennis Channel's "Signature Series." While she is so fit and strong on the outside, one hour face-to-face with the camera lens reveals she is anything but the tennis machine we've seen all these years. I know I'm a bit of a cry-baby, but as I listened to her describe her defection from Czechoslovakia in 1975 (at the tender age of 19), her bittersweet reunion with her parents a few years later -- which went from joyous to acrimonious when they discovered she was gay -- and the endless career peaks and valleys, I found myself tearing up for most of the program. She's a living LGBT legend and I'm so proud she's on our team. Click HERE to see when it airs again. I promise you'll feel better than Tracy Austin did after the third-set sudden-death tiebreaker against Martina in the quarterfinals of the 1978 Virginia Slims of Dallas.

P.S. Did anyone see Martina on the U.K. version of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" last year? I had no idea she was even on it, but apparently she came in second.

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