Sports heroes are folk heroes. They are ‘everyday’ people who do extraordinary things. For sure, unlike most folk heroes, sports heroes don’t become legends because they did something once. They become legends because they have the right combination of discipline, determination and talent.
With tennis season at Wimbledon – the oldest tennis tournament in the world and considered by many to be the most prestigious - just about to wrap up (June 25-July 8) the folk heroes of the moment play tennis.
The following men and women stand out for a variety of reasons. In some cases its their personalities.In other cases its the death-defying) acts they have accomplished. All of them rise well above and beyond the grunts and the shrill court shoe wear squeaks:
- Andre Agassi’s long hair.
- John McEnroe’s attitude and fighting spirit when he shouted, “You can not be serious!”
- The unforgettable five hour and twelve minute match between Pancho Gonzales and Charles Pasarell, where Gonzales came in victorious.
- Billie Jean King. The woman who fought for gender equality in the sports industry, and went on to beat Bobby Riggs in the 1973’s Battle of the Sexes, on top of her 12 slam record.
- Serena Williams is often considered to one of, if not the greatest, woman tennis players of all time. She proudly sports a 13 grand slam record.
- Venus Williams (Serena’s older sister) has seven grand slam record.
- September 15th, 1986 Ivan Lendi on the cover of Sports Illustrated with 144 career titles and 10 Grand Slam Victories.
- Roger Federer is just in a league of his own.
- Martine Navratilova, with so many career highs, survived breast cancer.