Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Martina Navratilova

Between 1982 and 1990, Martina Navratilova won at least one Wimbledon's women's tennis title each year, spending a record-breaking nine consecutive seasons as a champion in the hallowed precincts of the All England Club; throughout the same era as she was dominating women's singles she was also a champion in women's doubles as well. Just ask Judy Nelson...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketUnlike many professional athletes, who wait until their glory days have passed only to come out afterwards in order to sell more copies of their memoirs, Martina came out in 1981. Through it all she withstood a lot of the kind of sniggering misogyny that used to pass for adult entertainment in the 1980s. Her ploy for dealing with it? Playing better and better despite it....

Anyway, most of that contempt had evaporated by the time she retired; of course, by then she'd well proven herself by winning 18 Grand Slam singles (and 18 runner-ups), 31 Grand Slam women's doubles, and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, in addition to 167 other singles titles, not to mention career earnings of more than $21 million (none of which came from the lucrative endorsements she could have expected if she'd been among the many, many heterosexual women on the pro tennis circuit). It was, by any conceivable standard, one of the greatest careers in the history of professional tennis.

Since hanging up her racket in 2006 Navratilova's golden glow, confident soft-spoken demeanour, and egalitarian compassion have represented a significant line of defense in the War on Gays; whether at an after-dinner lecture or during a chat show appearance the concentration and work ethic she first honed on tennis courts around the world have made her an equally formidable opponent in the court of public opinion as well...

Currently dealing with breast cancer as aggressively as she used to play at the net, the Pop Culture Institute looks forward to wishing her many more happy birthdays in the decades to come.
share on: facebook

No comments: