Monthly Archives: May 2009

Rafael Nadal Heats Up Vogue Magazine

Rafael Nadal Heats Up Vogue Magazine

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I’m not very brave about anything in life. In tennis, yes. In everything else, not very.” Rafael Nadal, Vogue magazine, June 2009

It was less than a month ago that our Spanish delicacy, Rafael Nadal, landed in Time magazine as one of their most ‘influential’ Heroes & Icons…now, Rafa has made his way into the June issue of Vogue magazine, where journalist Gaby Wood penned a great interview and famed photographer Bruce Webber snapped some mouthwatering images of our beast during the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Gaby’s article is fantastic, perhaps one of the best I’ve read in relation to Rafa. She captures his essence and persona perfectly while giving us a glance of Rafa’s closely guarded inner circle…and she definitely knows how to capture the reader’s attention and libido: “…I make my way over to the practice court,” she writes, “Rafa is shirtless, sweat streaming down his front, the deep thwacking sound of his inhuman forehand filling everyone’s ears…”

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We learn that our Tapa enjoys fishing, golfing, going to the movies, and spending time with his girlfriend. We learn that the humble words he speaks transcend the court- opting to fly commercial instead of using private jets…and he speaks highly of nemesis Roger Federer, “He’s one of the greatest tennis players in history, if not the greatest. But the thing that makes you improve isn’t any individual—it’s the demands of the sport itself.”

Gaby also asked Rafael how he felt when he saw Federer crying in Australia. “Well, a bit odd, no? I didn’t really know what to do. I felt sad for him. Those are difficult moments when you’re living through them, but over the years they become moments that both he and I will be able to look back on fondly—they’re emotional moments.”

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I had my own emotional moment as I read about his pre-match rituals: “He’ll sleep between seven and nine hours, then have a plate of pasta for breakfast…just beforehand, he always has a (gulp) cold shower; then his physio, Rafael Maymo, helps him put on all his tape…”

But perhaps the most enlightening thing we learn about Rafa is that he’s in dire need of a visit from Delinda: “Being home alone at night makes me a bit nervous. If I’m at home alone I have to sleep on the sofa—I can’t face going to bed. I’m there with the TV on and all the lights on…”

Rafa also speaks of his new foundation, which aims to educate underprivileged children all over the world. “I’d like to help people who don’t have enough to live on,” he says, “I’d like to help everyone I can.”

I don’t know about the rest of ya, but Rafa has certainly helped me decide where I’m spending my summer vacation. Vamos our little ‘Rafalet’, va-mos.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Will Ferrell Sunscreen for Charity

Will Ferrell Sunscreen for Charity

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The bottle says it all. I’ve always dreamed of owning a lotion company.” Will Ferrell

Athlebrities’ favorite actor-comedian-golfer-tennis-pro and all around good guy, Will Ferrell, has once again gone above and beyond to ensure the success of Cancer for College. The non-profit organization, which grants scholarships to cancer survivors and amputees, has just launched a new line of sunscreens featuring Ferrell with all proceeds benefiting Cancer for College.

The Sexy Hot Tan, Sunstroke and Forbidden Fruit sunscreens mark Ferrell’s first venture into fundraising products for the charity founded by his college pal, cancer survivor and double amputee Craig Pollard.

“Some people are charitable with their money. Some are charitable with their time,” said Craig Pollard. “Will Ferrell has been extremely generous with both…we have been so incredibly fortunate to have had Will Ferrell’s support through the years. Creating this line of sunscreen products allows us the ability to use Will’s image to promote the mission of our charity, raise some valuable funds to help send cancer survivors to college and increase cancer awareness.”

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“We are obviously appealing to sun worshippers, streakers, art lovers and the ever growing market of body-building golfers,” said Ferrell. “We hope that everyone will see the humor in this product and join us in support of a very worthy cause…I’m proud to be associated with such a great charity. I’ve watched Craig and Cancer for College help hundreds of cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education. The stories are so inspirational. I’m just happy to help any way I can,” said Ferrell.

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The humorous packaging of the must-have sunscreens were designed by BogeyPro founder Arik Norby, who was asked to create the artwork and catch-phrases by Pollard who’s a fan of Norby’s wicked sense of humor (as evidenced by the bottles) and involvement with Cancer for College.

So don’t get burned this summer-lather on the ONLY sunscreen that makes you laugh and helps send cancer survivors to college. And remember, this years Cancer for College Golf Classic (September 18, San Diego) hosted by Will Ferrell is selling out fast! Tickets available at the Cancer for College website. OR to to get your hands on Ferrell’s Forbidden Fruit click HERE.

Cancer for College was formed in 1993 by two-time cancer survivor and double amputee, Craig Pollard. Pollard was a fraternity brother of Will Ferrell at the University of Southern California. Since its inception, Ferrell has been a devoted supporter of the charity and has served as the celebrity host of Cancer for College fundraising events since 2002.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Formula One Drivers Heat Up Catwalk for Sir Elton John

Formula One Drivers Heat up the Catwalk for Sir Elton John’s Foundation

Prior to winning the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend in Monte Carlo, Jenson Button, along with six other Formula One hotties, took part in a fashion show at the Amber Fashion event to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

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Strutting the catwalk for charity were Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber, Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastian Vettel and F1 veteran David Coulthard. The sports hottest drivers wore designs by Petra Ecclestone- daughter of F1 Management CEO Bernie-from her F1 inspired men’s wear collection FORM…Mark Webber commented on his second appearance as a model for the event: “Last year my knees were shaking a bit, but now it’s all routine! Could the catwalk be a career for me? No. So far I’ve never been a fashion junkie, but you never know – never say never!” Jenson Button also returned to the catwalk for the second year in a row: “Whatever you might think, a modeling career was definitely never my ‘plan B,” said this years Monaco Grand Prix winner, “I do this here because it is a fun event and it is for a good cause. Hopefully the guests will put their hands in their pockets and get some money out this evening. For us drivers it’s a nice break to do something different.” Indeed…strutting their stuff seems like a pretty good ‘something different’ to me…to view photos of our F1 babes decked out in FORM fashions, visit the F1 website HERE.

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Seen at the Monaco Grand Prix…Josh Hartnett (L)-looking sexy as hell-chatting it up with George Lucas…and actor Jesse Metcalf (far right) giving Mark Webber a run for his money in the ‘hot’ department.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

US Soldiers & The Beautiful Game In Iraq

US Soldiers & The Beautiful Game In Iraq

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There are no famous names in this post…no celebrities or smoking hot athletes like Melo, Rafa or our kitten to swoon over…but there are a few heroes and an amazing example of why we call soccer the ‘beautiful’ game.

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US soldiers, paratroopers, and platoon sergeants took part in a humanitarian mission in eastern Baghdad, where they- along with civil affairs soldiers- handed out soccer equipment in support of FC Unity, a London-based organization working with Coalition and Iraqi officials in eastern Baghdad to provide the citizens of Iraq a platform for development and education through a series of soccer programs…

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And enhancing the mission-US-Iraqi military teams were pitted against different local Iraqi soccer clubs all based in the eastern districts of Baghdad to play a few friendly matches…

God knows our boys need a break. After three US soldiers were killed yesterday in a road-side bomb, I can only hope the beautiful game gave our boys some much needed respite from the larger battle which they are part of.

So this holiday weekend, take a time-out and think about the meaning of Memorial Day. Raise your glass and toast those who have been killed in the line of duty…toast to those who are STILL there…and toast to the fact we have a global sport that can touch so many lives even in the time of war. While I may not support the war, I do support our troops and admire their sacrifice.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend kids…lets bring our troops home soon.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Cullen Jones Swims for Safety

Cullen Jones Swims for Safety

Cullen Jones is the first African American to hold a world record in swimming…and he’s not about to sit by and watch as children across the country drown. Motivated by the fact that 57% of African American and Hispanic kids can’t swim and are drowning at disproportionate rates, Jones has partnered with ConocoPhillips and the USA Swimming Foundation for “Make a Splash” with Cullen Jones, a national water safety campaign that kicks off in Houston May 20th.

Jones plans on schooling parents and kids about low-to-no-cost swim lessons in communities across the country while promoting an on-line giving program to help fund swim lessons for kids in need. “I didn’t learn how to swim to become an Olympic champion,” said Jones. “I learned how to swim, because when I was five years old, I almost drowned. Every summer these tragedies happen and we talk about how they could have been prevented; yet every year the statistics remain the same. I am committed to a real solution.”

In addition to Houston, Jones will visit Indianapolis, Seattle, Kansas City, Denver and Los Angeles…Make a Splash, the national, child-focused water safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation, began in 2007. In two years, more than 37,000 kids have gone through Make a Splash swimming lessons. For more information, or to donate or sponsor a swim lesson for a child in need, go to www.makeasplash.org.

About Cullen Jones: Cullen Jones is one of the fastest freestyle sprinters in the world today. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he was a member of the electrifying 400m freestyle relay team that broke the world record and won Olympic gold in one of the most memorable races in history. With the victory, Cullen became the second African-American to win Olympic swimming gold. As a member of the 2008-2009 U.S. National Team, Cullen is currently training for the 2009 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships, which is the qualifying meet for the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome. He trains under Coach David Marsh at SwimMAC in Charlotte, North Carolina….and he’s hot.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Interview with NBA Player Keyon Dooling’s Wife Natosha

Forget About LaLa, We’ve Got Natosha.

Last post was about Lala Vasquez and her ejection from the arena. The amount of attention given to the incident only seemed to incite Melo haters and give some Mav’s fans an excuse to air their hatred. I wondered (again) why we don’t give the same amount of media coverage to the NBA wives who deserve it? And by deserve it, I mean deserve it based on their good acts…and maybe if we did, might we change the world for the better? I’d much rather read about the ‘real’ difficulties of being the wife of a pro-athlete rather than the inability of a woman to keep her cool because her hubby is a supa-star.

Earlier this month, I conducted an interview with an incredible woman…I waited to post it because I wasn’t sure how to tie it in so-to-speak. And I’m glad I waited, because regardless of LaLa’s behavior, none of us are privy to the stress some NBA wives are under- and oftentimes, behind many of our mighty-mighty fine players, there’s an even mightier fine woman who serves as a foundation of strength and inspiration for her husband.

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One such woman is Natosha Dooling, wife of NBA player Keyon Dooling (Nets). The couple has three beautiful daughters, and aside from her duties as a mother and wife, Natosha always makes time for charity work.

Her forthcoming book “My Eyes and Hair” chronicles her life and her husband’s struggles, the heartbreaking loss of a child and the adversities she faced while growing up. She aspires to help under-privileged kids, with a focus on girls aged 7-19, to provide scholarships or assist in their education so they can finish college and become successful.

Natosha also interests me because she isn’t what we envision the ‘typical’ players wife to be. She’s never been escorted out of a game or garnered tabloid headlines due to something she did to blemish her husband’s reputation. In fact, she’s actually enhanced it. Obviously, I’m impressed beyond measure with a woman who can raise three kids, write a book and raise money for charity while encouraging others to do the same. And that’s precisely why I jumped at the chance to interview this amazing woman.

Natosha spoke to me about her childhood and what propelled her to get involved with charity work. “Growing up and seeing a lot of unpleasant things in my grandma and aunt’s neighborhood actually inspired me to help others. I saw a lot of teen pregnancy, teens being picked up by drug dealers from school, young girls getting AIDS and dropping out of school. It was so bad that I just felt I needed to do something about it since I am from that same neighborhood and it could easily have been me.” she told me, “The joy of seeing a change in people’s lives, seeing someone come from a worse situation and making it a great situation is what attracts me to charity work.”

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Natosha’s strength of character stems from her mother, who encouraged confidence: “I overcame adversities with my mom’s strength. No matter what was going on or what other people would say about me, she always gave me confidence and always told me every day how pretty I was,” she said, “She always encouraged me to make sure I get a man to treat me right. She is always so proud of me. She just gave me so much confidence and that helped.”

Aside from family, Natosha has drawn inspiration from others who’ve touched her life. “My first grade teacher, Mrs. Logan inspired me as a child. I wouldn’t have gotten through 1st grade without her. She was my inspiration and she made sure I stayed on my tasks…My cousin, Kathey Lacount, gave me hope,” she continued, ”Besides my mom, I could always go to her for anything. She took care of me and was there for me way before the money and to this day, she still has never ask me for anything.”

Her forthcoming book “My Eyes and Hair” was partially inspired by the difficulties in her life and the negativity she endured simply for being ‘an NBA wife’: “My book is about my life how it started and what I have been through and how tough it is to be an NBA player’s wife, how good God is to my family and I, as well as my relationships with friends and family. I was inspired to write it because one day I was just playing around with the computer and happened to google my name and a web page popped up about NBA players and their wives/girlfriend. I found Keyon’s page and it was filled with woman’s insolent comments and just talking about me rudely. Saying things that were not true and for no reason, so I thought to myself, I should write a book.”

For those who still think the life of an NBA player’s wife is a cakewalk, think again-especially when children are involved. “The most difficult decision I have had to make is to keep having to move my kids every 3 years. Part of me just wants to give up, say forget it and just live in Florida, let Keyon travel and I’ll see him on holidays. But my kids are still young and they need their dad right now so that’s very difficult for me.”

But what’s not difficult for Natosha, is earning the love, trust and admiration of her mighty-mighty-fine husband. “My wife inspires me in many ways- spiritually, emotionally and mentally- everyday watching her inspires me to want to do better as a husband and a father,” Keyon told me.

And this, my friends, is the kind of piece I personally would like to read more of…Inspirational woman who enhance this lives of those around them and not those who get into silly courtside arguments. I know there are many more NBA wives out there doing good…so hit me up if you prefer love over hatred, because after all, you contribute greatly to your mans success.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

LaLa Vazquez VS The White Lady?

LaLa Vazquez VS The White Lady?

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Seriously, this is beyond ridiculous but I gotta chime in…Melo’s baby mama/fiancé, LaLa Vazquez was thrown out of the American Airlines Center Monday Night while enjoying the visual of her stud muffin hooping it up against the Mavericks. Allegedly, a couple of Dallas fans sitting behind her made racist remarks towards her and her son-the cutest kid in the world, Kiyan Anthony- before chucking ice cubes at them. The altercation was caught on tape and footage begins moments after she and Kiyan were verbally attacked.

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But what really happened? One woman, Peggy, claims she was “there” and the incident started when LaLa’s bodyguard turned around and insulted ‘her’ first. I’m not sure I believe this…why would he out-of-the-blue turn around and insult ‘Peggy’ for no reason? She goes on to claim that other fans jumped to ‘her’ defense and it escalated from there and the only time ‘any Mavs fan touched Vazquez was when a girl in Peggy’s group accidentally brushed against her while reaching for a purse underneath her seat.’ “Don’t you ever (beep) touch me again!” Vazquez yelled as she flicked soda on them. (LOL note to LaLa, JuJubes work better and have the sticky factor going for them)

LaLa issued a statement which reads:

    LaLa Vazquez became distressed during a heated playoff game, after being verbally attacked by some opposing fans, who were using racial slurs, calling her child crude names and throwing ice cubes. She sent her son home early and was preparing to leave herself when she was physically pushed. Although shaken, she left the premises on her own will and is happy to be at home with her fiancé and child. “Obviously the play-off games bring out the best and the worst in fans but what happened on Monday night with the racial slurs/threats, verbal attacks on my son and physical attacks to myself by irate fans was unacceptable,” states LaLa. “The fans were totally out of control. What the cameras captured was me defending myself and didn’t show the abuse that was taking place.”

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So what really happened and who is telling the truth? I, for one, couldn’t care less. (But obviously, I’m biased towards all things Melo.) Regardless, it seems to me that if LaLa took issue with some moronic Mavs fans taunting her (if in fact they did), she should have called security to handle the situation. If, on the other hand, she simply flipped a gasket because someone brushed up against her, then I feel its in Melo’s best interest to find a nice, red-headed-even-tempered-blogger-to make his next baby.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Playing for Change

Playing for Change

Playing for Change is quite simply, amazing. It’s a beautiful, timely and effective way to deliver the message of change through song… Grammy-award winning producer/engineer and PFC co-founder founder Mark Johnson explains: “For the past four years, a small crew has traveled the world with recording equipment and cameras in search of inspiration and human connections,” Johnson explains. “The result is a movement connecting the world through music.”

And the movement is growing…Playing for Change has just released the fourth Song Around The World video ‘War No More Trouble’ from the CD/DVD Playing For Change: Songs Around The World…the first three songs: “Stand By Me,” “One Love” and “Don’t Worry,” have garnered millions of views on YouTube and “War No More Trouble” is nearing 600,000 views…

“War No More Trouble” was performed by musicians around the world-including Bono- adding their part to the song as it traveled the globe: “The act of playing music with people of different cultures, religions, economics, and politics is a powerful statement,” Johnson said in a press release. “It shows that we can find ways of working together and sharing our experiences with one another in a positive way. Music has the power to break down the walls between cultures, to raise the level of human understanding.”

Below is an excerpt from a recent article that ran in the Huffington Post explaining how PFC came to fruition…

    His truly big idea began when he heard two monks playing in a New York subway. They were surrounded by about two hundred morning commuters who chose listening to the pair than arriving at work on time. The producer recalls, “It occurred to me that here is a group of people that would normally run by each other, but instead, they’re coming together. And it’s the music that brought them together.” Johnson then began recording little known musicians from around the world, dubbing the process “Playing For Change,” it implying both busking and trying to propagate evolution. Eventually, he and his team visited everywhere from New Orleans to the Himalayas, South Africa to Jerusalem and beyond in his quest to capture the essence of regular people making heartfelt music, that being the universal condition that links musicians, vocalists and the message in all parts of the world. Filmed under the sun or streetlights, doorways, parks, plazas, on cobblestone streets or hilly regions, and employing innovative, state of the art equipment and techniques, these collaborations took place hundreds to thousands of miles apart, and has become the standard process.

    “The Playing For Change movement has a timely connection with the ‘Change’ movement of President Obama in that they are both driven by humanity, inspiration, and the desire to create a better world,” explains Johnson, “Change for the love of everyone, change for the good of everyone, change that will make everything all right.”

Playing for Change has both a Website and a Foundation website, where of course, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the CD benefit worthy causes including AIDS charities in Africa. Check ‘em out and join the movement….please.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Will “King of Clay’ Ferrell & His Tennis Match for Charity

Will “King of Clay’ Ferrell & His Tennis Match for Charity

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“I’ve been called the Ricky Hatton of tennis-from what I’ve heard- cuz I’m quick and I like to drink a lot.”

Will Ferrell is popping up at charity event so quickly I can barely keep up with him…last weekend the funnyman took on tennis legend Mats Wilander for the K-Swiss Global Tennis Showdown in L.A. to benefit the Swedish School of Los Angeles. All in all, the event raised more than $50,000 for the school…

There are three videos on Youtube from the event…and each has been viewed less than 2000 times. This particular video is great because whoever filmed it laughs contagiously throughout…but the sad thing is, although the event raised a lot of money, it could have raised a lot more. If you watch the video, notice how many empty seats there are. Why? This event cost less than a night out at the movies, and you could have actually met Ferrell, bid on some silent auction items, filled your belly with some delicious barbequed treats and enjoyed a performance by the Dan Band.

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If you missed this charity event featuring Will Ferrell, fret not. Ferrell is an all around athletic-talent and will be showcasing his golf skills on the greens for the Cancer for College event this September in San Diego. I’ve gone every year to support the event, which provides scholarships to cancer victims. And every year, Ferrell has gone above and beyond to ensure everyone in attendance gets a little TLC…and seriously, I don’t want to get another email asking me how I get to meet so many celebs-  I’ve been pointing you all in the right direction for a long time…and today, I’m pointing all Will Ferrell fans to the Cancer for College website for more info on how you can attend-but you gotta act fast, the event has sold out every year and this year will be no exception. I better see ya there.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Bono Interviews George Clooney

Bono Interviews George Clooney

For those of you who missed it, Bono interviewed George Clooney for the Time Magazine ‘World’s Most Influential People’ Special on CNN. They talk paparazzi, fame, celebrity, life lessons, activism and most importantly, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. It runs 38:56 minutes and gives us great insight into two of the world’s most ‘necessary’ men.


More HERE about the interview.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Michael Phelps & A Very Special Olympian

Michael Phelps & A Very Special Olympian

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I bet Andy Miyares is still smiling…Andy has accomplished more than most of us- he is a world record holder Special Olympian swimmer in both the International Paralympic Competition and at the World Down Syndrome Swimming Championship…and while in Baltimore preparing for the Special Olympic Summer Games, the 25 year-old dreams of more than ‘just’ swimming and establishing world records…his dream, to swim with Michael Phelps. And a few days ago, that dream came true. “I felt very excited about swimming here with Michael Phelps, and very proud of myself,” Andy said.

Phelps, along with Katie Huff, swam with Andy at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center where Phelps spends his time training. But after reading Andy’s bio, I think the real story shouldn’t be that Andy Miyares met his hero, it should be more along the lines of Miyares is equally, if not more so, amazing than Michael Phelps when it comes to the accomplishments.

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Andy has an astonishing 325 Gold medals, 160 Silver medals and numerous other medals and ribbons received at the local, state, regional and national levels of competition, across a variety of sports. When asked about how Special Olympics has affected his life, Andy says “I love Special Olympics, it is my life. It has taught me that with hard work, dedication and the will to win, I could do anything I wanted to do and be whoever I wanted to be. It showed me that I might have Down Syndrome, but that isn’t the only thing I have. I have the ability to succeed and I did just that. I have a job, I read, I write, I sing, I dance, I have a girlfriend. I’m just like you.” (Photo credits: Steve Ruark)

Gotta correct you there Andy, you are not ‘just like us,’ you are about 100 times better than most…you are an inspiration and a hero and I think Michael Phelps should consider himself lucky to have joined you in the pool.

And while we’re on the topic of Michael Phelps, obviously I heard the rumors of a possible romance between he and Miss Whoever-Runner-Up Carrie Prejean…I actually couldn’t care less who Phelps is dating but not sure it bodes well for Phelps to be chillen with someone who is against ‘same sex marriages’ and on a crusade to preserve ‘traditional marriage.’ In my humble opinion, same sex marriages are far more equal than ‘traditional marriages’ between a Man and his ‘wife’. Traditional marriage is based on the belief that a woman becomes a man’s property once married. Hello, ever heard of a dowry? (In this case, both of Prejean’s dowries were paid for by the Miss Whatever peeps)…anyway, word is that Phelps won’t be acquiring Prejean as his property anytime soon and racy photos of her dowries are now popping up all over the Internet…

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Carmelo and Kiyan Anthony

Carmelo and Kiyan Anthony

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Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals goes to the Nuggets who beat the Mavericks 109-95…the Mavericks are 0-5 against Denver this season, so I hope this series is a lock…that’s all I have to say about the game…because Carmelo Anthony had his son Kiyan at the press conference…and I’m speechless so I’ll let Melo talk and call it a day. “The second half, we buckled down on the defensive end. Everybody manned up, played team defense (and) got in the passing lanes. Our bench did a good job to come off and give us that spark,” said Melo before calling his PR firm to tell them he’d be happy to interview with Delinda at his next charity event.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Rafael Nadal One of the Worlds Most Influential People

Rafael Nadal One of the Worlds Most Influential People

Time Magazine has released their list of the World’s Most Influential People, and its gives me great pleasure to announce our tapa, Rafael Nadal has made the list. Rafa is sitting comfortably at #71 under the ‘Heroes & Icons’ section…joined only by two other athletes: Tiger Woods and Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.

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The explanation as to how Rafa cracked Time Mag’s 100, was beautifully written by someone who should also be on the list, Serena Williams.

    ‘I have never seen such tenacity, such ambition, such fight and such honor go into every shot as when I watch Rafael Nadal. I want to be like him. The attitude he exudes the moment he walks out on the court is the attitude of a true champion. A champion whose desire to win is the same as the desire of a lion to eat. Stalking his prey with force and speed, Nadal, 22, has already become one of the game’s all-time best…What is so unusual about Rafa (which is what he likes to be called) is that unlike many of his fellow Spaniards, he can dominate on all surfaces. He has never lost a match on the French Open’s clay, but he also has a Wimbledon title to his name, as well as one from the Australian Open. This year he’s the only man able to go for a true Grand Slam. What makes him so good? I think it’s that he’s the hardest worker. The last one to leave the court, the first to arrive. The one who falls asleep studying, the first to rise. It’s not easy being a champion; you don’t just wake up and — bam! — you’re No. 1. It takes work, effort, desire, dedication — all qualities that Rafa has. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am far off.’

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Oh Serena, you hit the nail on the head and I am especially grateful for the ‘lion stalking its prey’ visual…next match, I plan on using body paints to transform myself into ‘prey’ before prancing across the court. Serena also points out something I’ve been saying for years- Rafa is the hardest working babe in tennis. He doesn’t just wake up and expect to remain at number one without putting every once of his effort into it…

Rafa is in good company in the top 100 (which includes Obama, Oprah, and Clooney…) Obviously, Tiger Woods is a staple on just about every list around, but not many people know of Manny Pacquiao. The beast is currently rated by the Ring Magazine as the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world, is actively involved in politics, is rumored to be the subject of Sylvester Stallone’s latest film venture and is set to take on British boxer Ricky Hatton this weekend. Pacquiao’s profile in Time was written by Lennox Lewis and can be read here.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com