Tag Archives: Rafael Nadal

Pistons Make Wish Come True; Olympic Athletes Make Dreams Come True, Carmelo Anthony Hangs with Michael Phelps, and Luke Wilson’s Silver Lining

TRENDY TUESDAY

As we sit around watching real-fake-live coverage of the Olympian-hotness, I feel it’s important to give some props to former Detroit Piston John Long and head coach Michael Curry…the two mighty-fine men spent Monday hanging out with Spencer and his buddies. Spencer was the recipient of the ‘Afternoon with the Pistons, A Wish Come True’ event…and with that off my chest, I can feel good about a bit o gratuitous Delinda style coverage of some Olympic babes….


After the Men’s US Swim Babes stunned France in the 4×100 freestyle on Monday night, Michael Phelps went on to etch his name alongside Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis as one of the “winningest Olympians ever” with his third gold medal and third world record in as many days. In winning the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday, Phelps ran his career Olympic total to nine golds…

I love you
Speaking of Phelps, seems like he and Carmelo Anthony are chill. Sweet Melon is writing an Olympic diary for the NY Times. In part, he spoke about his new buddy Michael Phelps…”I’m amazed at what he can do in that water. He’s like a shark. I’ve never seen anyone swim like that before. Swimming never caught my eyes before I saw him.” Last week, Melo licked his lips and wrote about hanging with Phelps: “I got a chance to talk with him last night at the Olympic Village. I met him before just growing up, but I hadn’t met him since he won those six gold medals in 2004. So his whole life has changed. He’s not from the same neighborhood as me, but we’ll claim him…This is my first time to really get a chance to mingle and interact with him. We talked about spots back home, but we were talking about getting out to each other’s events. He’s going to bring some golds back to Baltimore and I’m going to bring a gold back. They can have our parade together in Baltimore.”


Granted, I can’t sit still long enough to watch each and every real-fake-live-broadcast event…but I’m trying to keep an eye on several noteworthy morsels…one of which, as we all know, is a particular Tapa. Our Rafael Nadal has burned through Italian beast Potito Starace and Lleyton Hewitt as he inches his way towards gold…

Luke wilson and Johan Edfors PUMA
Meanwhile, let’s take our eyes of Beijing for a minute and give some props to actor Luke Wilson. He, along with Swedish golf-babe Johan Edfors, have teamed up to co-design the new ‘Chrome’ line for Puma. “Johan wears the splashy stuff,” Wilson says…the two collaborated on a line to suit both the ‘extroverts’ and ‘introverts’ on the greens..sexy bold colors for Edfors and muted cardigans for Wilson. “I like the real meticulous look of guys like Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. They had their own tailors making their clothes back then,” Wilson says. For more info and some great photos of the new line, check out the LA Times.

Justin Tmberlake mugshot?
As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Olympics: Let the Games Begin

ONE EYE ON SWEET MELON, THE OTHER ON A TAPA

Three American activists were arrested yesterday for “thinking” about unfurling a Tibetan flag during the opening ceremony, but that didn’t distract me nearly as much as the Men’s USA hoops team hotties looking all dapper and giddy as they entered the Birds Nest from Hell.

Carmelo Anthony
My Sweet Melon…where do I start? Will you pa-leeze share your video coverage with me? I’m not happy about you-know-who shaking your precious hand, but I’m sure it was a great moment for you. I just ask that you wash that hand before touching me before we cuddle up to watch videos…LaLa can make the popcorn and pour the bubbly for us. I promise Ill be good.


Our Hoops babes have a tough schedule ahead of them, after a prelim-game on Sunday against Yao Ming and China, they must defeat the teams placed alongside them in the dreaded Group of Death: Greece (Euro champs), Spain (World champs), Germany (with Dirk Nowitzki and his funky hair cut) and Angola who aren’t expected to go far.


Gonna give some props to Kobe for recognizing that they have some fierce competition ahead of them. “Other countries have All-Stars, too,” he said. And I hate to admit it, but I love this photo of Kobe getting his tie adjusted by La-Lame, although my money says this was staged. Kobe wouldn’t take the Worlds stage with a crooked tie, come on. These boys took hours to put on those crisp white pants and unnecessary tams before walking in…but like I said, it’s a great photo regardless of how it came to be.


The Opening Ceremonies looked like a lot of fun…something along the lines of a SuperBowl halftime show taken over by MTV meshed with a massive dose of Cirque de Soleil.


I wont mention all the displaced migrant workers who lost their homes to build the Birds Nest. I wont mention the thousands of people suffering at the hands of the Chinese government, but I certainly wont forget.


I also won’t forget that in ten-days our Spanish treat Rafael Nadal will ‘officially’ become the Worlds Number one…but dear god, the Spanish outfits are horrendous. Sorry Spain, this girl ain’t digging the red clown suits and straw hats.


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

Rafael Nadal Worlds Number One?

RAFA and ROLIING INTO FIRST PLACE?

The tennis gods have opened their big, beautiful, tan, muscular arms and ushered our edible little tapa into the world’s number one spot, unofficially, but I’m still gonna declare August 1 a holiday. Rafa Day…Our baby ripped it like a Spanish warrior from the hands of a more than one opponent to climb over a Swiss Ego and land on both feet with class and humility, no?


Granted, Rafael Nadal’s official-official number one ranking wont be ‘acknowledged’ until he wins the tournament, Sunday, but even if he doesn’t, he has enough points in Cincinnati to overtake Roger Federer when the rankings are released on Aug. 18. “Yeah, very tough match” he panted after downing Nicolas Lapentti 7-6, 6-1 on Friday, “I was little bit tired…the weather here is very hot…important for me into semifinals, very, very happy…happy because I fight it a lot the last three years to be number one, but for sure be number one is always a goal, no?”


We have a new worlds number one, Rafael Nadal. Oh how I’ve waited to hear those words outside of my dreams…Rafa said he would wait until “after Davis Cup for party.” However, after sitting in second place for 158 straight weeks on the ATP World rankings, I hope he’s chugging down a few glasses of Sangria with his lady…after all, its not everyday you dethrone a man who was on a 235 week run. I will refrain from sending condolences to Roger Federer or making any kind of comments like Rafa deserves it because he trained harder, remained focused, and wasn’t busy texting his celeb-pals between sets in order to make sure they were watching him play. But I do hear Roger Federer will be carrying the Swiss flag at next Friday’s Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing-so that’s good, right? And it coincides with his 27th birthday, so I’m sure he’ll be just fine…

Congratulations Rafa for becoming the 24th player in the history of the ATP Rankings to hold the number one position and the third Spaniard to accomplish the feat, joining Carlos Moya (1999) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003).

Rafael Nadal

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

Athletes, Africa, Fans and Favorites

NFL GOOD GUYS

On Tuesday, 4-year old Jayonna Black waited patiently to have her football signed by Washington Redskins players…she, along with other patients at the Children’s Hospital, were invited by tight-end Chris Cooley to the Redskins training camp in Ashburn, Va. Don’t it just make your heart melt?

RON-RON IS GOOD

Everyone is talking about Ron Artest joining the Rockets as the team hoops it up in China. Yao Ming doesn’t seem phased but I’m sure he’s stoked to have another balling humanitarian on his team. In case any of you out there still haven’t heard, Ron Artest is NOT the bad-boy you all think he is. Sure, he’s a bit scattered on the court, but off the court, he’s one of the best guys out there. Period. The boys at the Starting Five just posted an incredible interview with Former NBA player Kermit Washington. In the interview, he details his first trip to Africa in 1994 to help after the genocide in Rwanda. After his journey, he founded Project Contact Africa and explains how Ron Artest helped ‘jump start’ the project. “Ron Artest was probably one of the most wonderful people we have brought over.” He says, “All of them are wonderful, but Ron just went out of his way. Not only did he pay for a lab in our clinic, he paid for a doctor to go over this summer. He paid for two weeks, paid for food, paid for a place to stay. Ron Artest–wonderful guy.” Please take a few minutes to read the full interview…if it doesn’t touch you in some way then I don’t think you have a soul.

BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER WARMS ME UP
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Players from German FC Bayern Munich met with Japanese school children prior to a kicking the ball around with them. The tournament, hosted by Adidas, was held at Saitama stadium on July 30…and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger earns a mighty-mighty-fine-man shout-out for his interaction with the kids…

MAN-U vs PORTSMOUTH FANS

Fans got a bit unruly at a ‘friendly’ soccer match in Nigeria last weekend when Manchester United took on Portsmouth FC…inside the stadium, Man-U won the match 2-1, but outside paramilitary personal tackled a crowd of angry fans who were protesting the hike in gate fees before the start of the game. Considering that the military guy is carrying his ‘injured coworker’ out of the crowd, I would say the conflict ended in a victory for the protestors.

RAFAEL NADAL BITE ME PE-LEEZE

“I win on every surface, no? I win on grass, on hard, on indoor, and on clay, too,” Nadal said. “So if I am playing my best tennis I can win on every surface, no?” Yes, yes, and yes my precious little tapa. Our yummy Spanish treat beat Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 6-2 Sunday while I was shaking off my Vegas hangover. Ain’t nothing better than catching up on my favorites beast after a weekend of debauchery and discovering that this was his fifth straight tournament and 29th consecutive match win. Someone pa-leeze give me a piece of bread, some dipping sauce and a few olives so I can give Nadal a new surface to play on, no?

DAVIS vs DAVIS

Wonder how many non-basketball fans this is gonna confuse during the season…

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

CelebAir Offering Celebrity Staffed Flights

ATHLEBRITIES AIR

Imagine if you will, enjoying a flight from London’s Gatwick to Malaga Spain. You’ve nestled into your seat, stowed your carry-on bags, and are anxiously awaiting that massive pack of peanuts they’re about to give you…the steward picks up that little-handheld radio to inform passengers that the in-flight service is about to begin…”This eez your steward speaking, no? I like to make possible some snacks for you to pleasure, no? If you like, I also make possible something to drink, yes, while enjoy your flight with us.”

You can hear the flight attendants whispering behind the curtain, bottles clanking as they line ‘em up on the cart, the smell of fresh coffee wafting your way…and then, from behind the curtain comes your flight attendant, pushing the cart with one hand and adjusting his capri’s with the other…”You like something for drink, no?” he asks before someone from the rear of the plane yells ‘Fore’ and a bag of peanuts go whizzing by your head. You turn around and noticed the bag of ‘nuts were delivered via the swing of a nine-iron attached to Camilo Villegas. “Heads up my friend,” he says to your flight attendant, Rafael Nadal….Oh, it doesn’t hurt to dream, does it? The answer is no, because thanks to CelebAir things are about to get interesting in the air, as celebrities battle it out to become CelebAir’s star employee and win money for their chosen charity.

    CelebAir is a real airline, flying to real destinations, with real passengers – but with a very special celebrity service. ITV2 and Monarch Airlines have joined forces to bring you the opportunity to take part in the reality TV event of the year – CelebAir. An exclusive group of passengers will be able to travel while celebrities work as airline staff on this unique showbiz airline. CelebAir will have its own check-in desk at London Gatwick airport, its own planes, its own tickets, and its own dedicated staff of celebrities trained to the highest standards of air travel. With CelebAir you’ll have all the safety and comfort of a trip with Monarch, plus an experienced Monarch aircrew will be on hand to make sure that everything runs smoothly. We’ll be traveling to some of Europe’s most popular destinations, so there’s no excuse not to take this chance to get a little celebrity service to kick off the holiday of a lifetime.


Granted, the ‘celebrities’ taking part in this wonderful mile-high opportunity haven’t been revealed. But as mentioned, I’d have my Spanish treat Rafael Nadal leading the flight crew. Camilo Villegas would be in charge of ”lost & found” –assuming the position as he crawls under seats to collect rouge items that have fallen out of reach. (Yes, I would drop my pen repeatedly). I’d also be remiss not to have Posh aka Victoria Beckham as the lead-flight attendant. She wouldn’t have to do anything except make sure the crew was behaving. (On a side note- anyone catch the acid-trip-like ESPY’s? Victoria’s face was priceless as she sat there enduring the embarrassing show-she was the only one in the audience that wasn’t giving a fake laugh and I love her for it.)


My flight crew would also include Snoop Dogg in efforts to get a Soul Plane atmosphere going…ideally, Bono would be onboard as well, educating the passengers on all things ‘love’ related…oh, my Drogba would come through the cabin with warm towels while I enjoyed foot-massage from the hands of Ian Poulter…pillows and blankets would be handed to me by Kanye West before I pressed the call button to summon Steve Nash to refill my drink, tuck me in, and instruct me on how to best use the seat-bottom cushion…like I said, it doesn’t hurt to dream, does it?

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

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Off Court Battle

NEW BATTLE FOR NADAL AND R-FED?

On July 6 Rafael Nadal dethroned Roger Federer as the king of Wimbledon. It’s considered one of the greatest matches of all time, and yes, we’re still talking about it. Why? Because it just takes one asinine member of the media to mention the word ‘doping’ in the same sentence as Wimbledon and we got a new scandal. And boy am I pissed. I’m willing to bet a million bucks (which I don’t have) that if Roger Federer had won his sixth title, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But because it’s the buffer, leaner, stronger, more disciplined player who won-he must have been cheating…and a dirty Spaniard? Wimbledon? Oh I can hear the conservative British panties bunching from here.


I hadn’t even entertained the thought of either Nadal or Federer ‘doping’ until I read the aforementioned article. It makes me sick to even address this issue, but its important because I suspect its gonna be the subject of debate for years to come. What really set me off was a phone call I got from a friend.
“Ya know your boys juicing, right,” he said.
“Huh, who? What?” Ian Poulter- juicing- I thought to myself?
“Nadal, Wimbledon” he corrected me, “I know people on the tour, he’s juicing,” he said again.
I could literally feel my blood slowly start to boil. (Good rumors always start off with an I-have-a-friend-admonition. Anyone remember the Richard Gere ‘gerbil’ stories from the late 80’s? Didn’t everyone have a “friend” that ‘worked in the hospital Gere was brought to?’)
Anyway…my anger, I realize now, came from a place where steroids didn’t exist. Not for one nano-second did it enter my mind that either one of the worlds top two tennis players were taking some sort of performance enhancing drugs. The glorious high I felt from Rafa’s stunning victory was deflated with one single careless accusation.


We were given a gold-plated diversion from the usual world of sports- a great rivalry between two outstanding athletes-unspoiled or tainted by such distractions as China, Darfur, foreclosures, DUI’s, rapes, murders, home-invasions, cheating, strippers, weed, smog, traffic, earthquakes, tsunamis-whatever- it was pure. It was real and it was beautiful. How dare uninformed, misguided naysayers take away the one game that made us feel something other than disgust with our athletes.


Is the basis for this rumor planted in Nadal’s Spanish blood? Racism perhaps? Ignorance maybe? Its not like Nadal suddenly appeared out of thin air-for god’s sake, when he was 15-years old (2002) he won his first ATP match. Don’t think Federer won a match before his 16th birthday? By the following year, Rafa had become the second-youngest player in the top 100. And has everyone forgotten that Nadal was only 17 when he made his Wimbledon debut?

Rafael_nadal
And are we forgetting that while Nadal was busting his ass practicing, Federer was busy texting with his new celebrity buddies like Tiger Woods? Are we ignoring the 81-consecutive clay-court match winning streak Nadal had while R-Fed was busy filming his Gillette commercial? My point isn’t to rip on Roger Federer because “they” are speculating that he “may have been” doping as well. If you know anything about the man, you know this is absurd. My point is that just because we live in a ‘steroids era’ doesn’t mean all victories are won at the hands of cheaters.

I’m not feigning ignorance to the fact that some tennis babes may have dabbled in the juice…but I highly doubt either Nadal and Federer would need to tap into anything other than their natural talents to give us a spine-tingling, mind-numbing, double-de-licious piece of history. So keep your rumors to yourselves people- because unless Nadal and Federer stand in front of me, pee in a cup and test dirty-I aint buying into this ridiculous buzz kill and baseless rumor for one second.


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

Rafael Nadal and Maria Francesca Perello Go Public

RAFAEL NADAL AND HIS GIRLFRIEND MAKING WAVES

Fresh off his mind-blowing match at Wimbledon, our delicious Tapa, Rafael Nadal, addressed fans at Manacor’s town hall in Mallorca…one thing he didn’t have to address, though, was whether or not he was still dating Maria Perello.


Thanks to the good peeps at Machochip.com, Rafael Nadal and his girlfriend have officially been ‘outted.’ Rafa’s girl is 20-year old Maria Francesca “Xisca” Perello. We all know they’ve been together for a while-and actually ‘went public’ two years ago, but I simply couldn’t resist posting the photos of Rafael Nadal topless, frolicking in the water with his girl. And yes, Maria was at Wimbledon watching her sexy beast destroy the Swiss Misters five-time winning streak.


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

Rafael Nadal Stops Roger Federer To Create His Own Spot in Wimbledon History

LIGHTENING ROD O’ RAFA: 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7.

Could you hear me screaming? No doubt my Rafa-induced shrills of joy traveled all the way across the Pacific Ocean…my hands are blistered, my voice is gone and I may have suffered a minor coronary during the Wimbledon Men’s Final. Mother Nature was an evil, evil woman, stopping play more than once while she opened her arms to sprinkle rain on what could-be one of the best matches in history. Between the break points, rains delays, sudden deaths, match points, 18 cups of coffee I drank, 6 tranquilizers I swallowed and Rafa’s grunting, I don’t think I could have survived the night had they halted play due to weather or nightfall.


Prior to the Wimbledon, Roger Federer said: “I don’t think it matters really a lot if I’m the favorite or not,” Federer said. “I’m on an incredible winning streak on grass. First, somebody has to be able to break that before we start talking differently.” Okay, let’s start ‘talking differently’ now shall we?


The skies opened up over Wimbledon as our Lighten Rod ‘O Rafa wiped that smarmy smirk off the face of the Swiss Mister to win the Men’s Final at the All England Tennis Club. Nadal’s sexy Spanish prowess, precise rituals, and tantalizing on-court backhanded-gymnastics were nothing short of spectacular, and after losing the last two Wimbledon Finals to the Swiss Mister, it was beyond sensational to watch our precious Spaniard lift that trophy, kiss it, nibble on it and rejoice in a long overdue historical-stoppage of R-Fed’s oh-so-wonderful winning streak of five-Wimbledon titles.


Rafa was asked how he felt the moment he won: “Is impossible to explain what I feet in that moment,” he said, “Just very, very happy to win this tournement.” Even John McEnroe was blown away, “It’s the greatest match I’ve ever seen in my tennis career,” he said more than once during his post-match interview with Rafa. “Unbelievable effort, unbelievable,” said McEnroe, “It was the greatest match I have seen in my tennis career, how in the world did you do that?” Rafa replied with his natural humility, “I don’t know, I was crying like ten minutes because for Rafa is like dream for Wimbledon,” he said, “For the Spanish, Wimbledon always is very, very difficult…I try to be very concentrate…belief in the victory all the time and be more focused.” And with that, our Rafael Nadal becomes the first man to win Wimbledon and French Open in the same year since 1980…the rest, as they say, is history.


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

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Not sure how many of you caught the ‘Costas Now’ special that’s being run ad nausea on the HBO, but if you get a chance, check it out. Costas held a sort-of roundtable discussion with industry ‘big-wigs’ and discussed, among other things: how negativity is fueling sports talk radio and seeping into other mediums; how the relationship between athletes and reporters is being breached by jealously and mistrust; and how the influx of blogs are making it harder to distinguish between real news and an ‘uneducated’ opinion. The program has ignited a short of shit-storm after author/blog hater Buzz Bissinger attacked Deadspin’s Will Leitch on-stage and said: “I feel very strongly about this. I really think you’re full of shit because I think blogs are dedicated to cruelty, they’re dedicated to journalistic dishonesty, they’re dedicated to speed. It is the complete dumbing-down of our society.” Thankfully, we got guys out there like Jason Whitlock standing up for blogs-not all of ‘em, but he does recognize the good ones…No doubt, if I were to open my vault, I’d have no trouble attaining DeadSpin status. But to categorize all blogs, as Bissinger has, as ‘dedicated to cruelty, journalistically dishonest and dumbing down society’ is ridiculous. In my opinion, blogs are a threat to mainstream media because we’re not bound by the usual restraints put on journalists, therefore allowing us to express our opinions freely. And those opinions aren’t necessarily ‘uneducated’, in fact, I’d say it’s quite the opposite. (After all, is it uneducated to write that Washington Redskins second round draft pick, wide receiver Malcolm Kelly has the sickest body-in-the-draft? I think not)…


Im not going to sit here and attack DeadSpin either. While Im not a huge fan, I understand that people have a need to laugh at the absurd and normal behavior of ‘celebrities’ who’ve been put on a pedestal. Its human nature, and its kinda sad. I could spend hours ‘blogging’ about a hottie who reached into his own pocket to help a needy family-but no one seems to care. But if were to blog about, hmmm, lets-say- a well known basketball star who hangs out with a posse of weed-stealing punks-my hits would go through the roof…Maybe DeadSpin does spread cruelty, but more often than not, all ya gotta do is open up your morning paper and you’ll find shit equally as cruel but not nearly as accurate. So, in keeping with the theme, lets talk a little smack about a few troublemakers shall we?


Former NBA beast Dennis Rodman was arrested for allegedly hurting a woman at a Century City hotel. Apparently the ink-a-licious bad boy grabbed a woman’s arm -leaving a bruise- after the pair drank too much and argued…and this is news because? He’s the only athlete to get drunk and pull his girl outta da club because he didn’t like the way she was drinking all his Crystal? I think not. Its news because of the innate nature of people to hear about scandalous behavior. Rodman was jailed for investigation of “felony domestic violence” and freed on $50,000 bail. Now, if this were DeadSpin, I’d open my vault and issue a collective ‘Its-time-for- all-you-ballers-on-the-West-Coast-to-recheck-yourselves-because-it-looks-like-things-have-just-started-to-get-ugly-for-those-big-headed-playas-who-feel-they-can-just-get-what-they-want-without-paying-the-reeper.’ But Im not DeadSpin and I don’t spread cruelty but I do love to talk shit once in a while…like what’s up with Jose Canseco? Dude just walked away from his $2.5M pad in the Valley. “You know my life, this financial thing, is a very complicated issue. Obviously, when you make all that money, people think, ‘OK, let’s assume it is $35 million.’ People have to understand that $35 million, you’re paying the government 41 percent. That leaves you with about $17 or $18 million, not even. Then you’re taking care of your whole family.” But wait, we got a book plug coming up…”What about other families that we’re hearing on TV, that they’re saying, `We have nowhere else to go,’” he said. “I mean, that is amazing. I’ve got books (he’s put out two expose-type books on drug use in baseball that I’m sure omit the sexual-assault-covers-ups-that-are-rampant-in-the-sport)…And now, former track star Tim Montgomery has been indicted on heroin distribution charges? No wonder DeadSpin is so popular…Montgomery was arrested Wednesday, accused of dealing more than 100 grams of heroin in Virginia over the past year. “You get caught up in the achievements,” he said. “You get blinded and make really bad mistakes.” But enough about the negative, lets get back to basics…

I’M PURRING

Our Columbian kitten is currently flexing those beautiful muscles at the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte. It has been far too long since we’ve gotten some great shots of Villegas doing what he does best missing the cut getting down and dirty while he concentrates on getting it in the hole.


Another one of our treats is currently ruling the clay-court…Rafael Nadal defeated Lopez Thursday to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals, which also gave him his 100th win on clay in his last 101 matches. “That’s not bad,” Nadal said. Is not bad either, no, that Barca babe Lionel Messi and an unknown hot-hot-hottie watched our Rafa spank Lopez.


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

Nadal Makes History With Win Over Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton Places Third, Heikki Kovalainen Crashes.

NADAL: INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS

The Masters Series Monte Carlo…”I think I am more adapted to clay every match, no? I am feel I play more clay style every day, no?” Going for his 24th career title, our Spanish treat, Rafael Nadal, can’t make much cuter, no? Rafa worked the clay against Roger Federer and became the first player in Open Era history to capture the event four times in a row. The allegedly ‘neutral’ crowd was most def backing up the Swiss Mister. But Rafa’s supreme ball control-especially on clay- was too much for Federer-and in fabulous fashion, Rafa downed the worlds number one in straight sets and rolled around on that wonderful red-clay in celebration.

“I think I am playing well; I am doing good work,” purred Nadal, “I think I am more adapted to clay every match. I play more clay (court) style every day, having control of the point with the forehand.” Guess Federer needs to take a good, hard look at what he’s doing wrong…or simply stick to grass.

”I am the first fourth in a row? So, well, happy for that. That most important, happy for still playing good, no, for continuing playing good. Having last two Masters Series, two finals, the first semifinals, and the first Grand Slam semifinals, too. So I think is a very good start of the 2008 season. Just I have to continuing like this, no? I think I am playing well. I am doing good work. If I continue like this, I gonna have chances for being in the top positions another time, no?”

SPANISH F1

First place at the Spanish Grand Prix went to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, second place was taken by Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, and third place was claimed by Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes)…I can not, with a clear conscience, say that Raikkonen looks nearly as good as the other babes when he downs champagne, but props to him for the win…


Finnish McLaren-Mercedes Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen didn’t have a good day. After crashing during the event, he was taken to the hospital and is reportedly in good condition. “As far as we know he hasn’t broken anything. He’s a little concussed,” said McLaren boss Ron Dennis. “We think it was [caused by] a stone [getting caught] between the wheel rim and suspension. It shows a catastrophic air loss and we’ll know more when we get the bits back.” An on-board camera captured Kovalainen’s left-front tire suddenly deflate in the middle of the right-handed Campsa corner, one of F1′s most difficult. Initially there were serious concerns because the cockpit of the car was buried under a barrier and it took F1′s medical team 10 minutes to get him outta the wreckage.


Hamilton said he had been told during the race that his teammate was not badly injured. “It was a terrible day for Heikki, I am just so happy that he was not badly injured. I came past the corner and saw a red car in the wall, but did not know if it was a Ferrari or a McLaren. It reminded me of a similar situation last year, when the same thing happened to me.” The beast said he was glad to be back on the podium, after having failed to finish in the top three in the last two races. “After qualifying fifth, I knew it would be difficult, so I am glad to have finished third,” he said.


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

Europe’s All Star Village, Steven Spielberg Statement About China, Lunch with a Hottie, New Speedo.

THE VILLAGE: MECCA
Nestled just one mile from Estepona on the Southern Coast of Spain is a very special Village that seems to be resting at the end of a rainbow. Billed as Europe’s All Star Resort, the Village is nothing short of spectacular. The development is complete with apartments, 36 holes of championship golf, 3 swimming pools, 2 luxury spas, its own football academy and hotel.
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But what makes its so special? It has the (gulp) official endorsement of 12 leading UK football clubs including Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Celtic, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, and others. Hotties have already began buying apartment for themselves there, as well as the teams-who have reserved apartments which are on sale exclusively to their fan base. The clubs receive a percentage from each sale, so fans purchasing an apartment know a portion of the money they pay goes back into their club. Among the hotties who could be your neighbor at The Village? Paul Robinson, David Bentley, Roberto Carlos, Iker Casillas (R), Raul, golf legend Steve Ballesteros, and our Spanish-treat Rafael Nadal.

LUNCH ANYONE
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We got some hotties donating their time to help keep the kids in school. Current and former Super Bowl champions New York Giants’ Antonio Pierce (L) and Seattle Seahawks’ Shaun Alexander; and NASCAR driver Scott Riggs are just a few of the top babes in sports to be sent to the auction block for the sixth annual Lunch With A Leader auction. The online auction, which runs February 8 – 18 on eBay, benefits Communities In Schools, Inc., the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization. In addition to eating lunch across the table from one of these athlebrities, (after passing a background check of course) the winning Antonio Pierce bidder also gets a trip to the Giants’ training camp for practice.

SPEEDO
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Aqualab spent three years of intensive reaserch…Speedo scanned the bodies of more than 400 elite swimmers…held technical tests involving more than 100 different fabrics…and the results are sensational. The Speedo LXR Racer is the world’s first fully bonded swimsuit-ultrasonically welded to give the effect of no seams at all…ultra low drag LZR panels are embedded into the base fabric to create a Hydro Form Compression System which compresses the swimmer’s entire body into a more streamlined shape, enabling them to cut through the water with more power and agility…it has a corset-like grip, and independent testing has shown it to be the world’s fastest swimsuit. “When I hit the water, I feel like a rocket,” said Michael Phelps, holder of six World Records. Phelps, who has been involved in the suit’s development, will be sporting the LZR as he sets out to achieve a record-setting eight gold medals later this year. “I can’t wait to race in it – this is going to take the sport of swimming to a new level.” Also involved with the design was Comme des Garcons founder Rei Kawakubo. In a perfect blend of high-fashion-meets-athletic wear, Kawakubo added a design on the side panel of the suit incorporates the character “kokoro” meaning Heart, Mind, Spirit.

MIGHTY-MIGHTY GOOD MAN
At least 200,000 people have been killed and two million forced from their homes in the five-year conflict in Darfur. And yesterday, director Steven Spielberg issued a statement formally announcing the end of his role as artistic adviser for the opening and closing ceremonies of the ’08 Beijing Olympics. Here is his statement, in its entirety:

“After careful consideration, I have decided to formally announce the end of my involvement as one of the overseas artistic advisors to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games. In anticipation that this day might one day come, I left unsigned the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games contract presented to me nearly a year ago. Since that time, I have made repeated efforts to encourage the Chinese government to use its unique influence to bring safety and stability to the Darfur region of Sudan. Although some progress has been made along the way, most notably, the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769, the situation in Darfur continues to worsen and the violence continues to accelerate.”
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“With this in mind, I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue with business as usual. At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur. Sudan’s government bears the bulk of the responsibility for these on-going crimes but the international community, and particularly China, should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering there. China’s economic, military and diplomatic ties to the government of Sudan continue to provide it with the opportunity and obligation to press for change.”
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“The situation has never been more precarious – and while China’s representatives have conveyed to me that they are working to end the terrible tragedy in Darfur, the grim realities of the suffering continue unabated. This has been a very difficult decision for me, as I have cherished the relationships with my Chinese counterparts, in particular, the noted director Zhang Yimou, who is a close personal friend. I have learned a great deal from working with him and all the other creative artists along the way. There is little that is more rewarding than to collaborate with those who bring vision and imagination to a challenging artistic task. And I greatly appreciated the spirit in which we worked together – a spirit that embodied genuine friendship and respect.”
“For me, the Olympic Games represent an ideal of brotherhood designed to bridge cultural and political divides. I am committed to building bridges between peoples and I saw, and continue to see, the Beijing Games as an opportunity to help ease some of the tensions in the world. China has much to offer the world and I have no doubt that its international contributions will grow in the years ahead. With growing influence, however, also comes growing responsibilities. As China welcomes the world to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, I hope to be among those in attendance; and it is also my great hope that, with renewed and intensified efforts from China, there will be peace and security in Darfur at last.”

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Nadal, Blake, Federer: Day 7 Down Under; Marin Cilic Talks to the Animals; Scott Macartney Crashes; Francis Joyon Round the World in 58 Days

DOWN UNDER
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Gotta give love to our tennis babes for making this years Australian Open wonderfully sporntastic. Spanish treat Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals after Paul-Henri Mathieu retired with a bum ankle. Sounding a bit Feder-like, our tapa commented on his wicked play, “I was playing well today, maybe I was playing my best tennis in Australia this year,” purred the beast, “I’m happy to be in the quarterfinals — would have preferred not like this — but in the quarterfinals anyway.”

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Janko Tipsarevic gets mad-props for delivering a stunning 4-hour, 27-minute performance against the Swiss Mister Roger Federer. Tipsarevic was ‘this’ close to sending Federer packing, but in the end, the world’s number one walked away victorious 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8. “I’m happy I could deliver a five-set thriller. It was good to be part of something like this,” said Federer, chasing his third consecutive Australian title and 13th major. But I think Tipsarevic deserves the most love for “being part of something like this.” After watching him play, I was stunned to learn he’s only ranked 48th in the world. Dude put up one hell of a battle and I adore him.

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The biggest story by far, is that of James Blake. His five-set, third round Saturday win over Sebastian Grosjean was nothing short of spectacular. “That’s got to be my biggest comeback — down two sets to love, two sets to one, two breaks against a guy that was getting a lot of free points on his serve,” Blake said. “Four-1 in the breaker, 5-3 in the breaker … it just seemed like every time there was a mountain to climb…I don’t think a lot of people like my chances, but I always do. No matter what my body language says — I know I’ve been criticized about that in the past — but that’s a little bit of the perfectionist in me.” Blake and that beautiful bouncing booty now face Marin Cilic in the fourth round.

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I don’t know who’s cuter…Marin Cilic, Timmy the tree kangaroo, or Mallo the koala…I just wanna squeeze them all.

CRASH AND BURN

Scott Macartney of the United States crashed during the men’s World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel, January 19. The 30-year-old from Crystal Mountain crashed at full speed (140 km/h) in the final jump of the downhill, fell on his back, lost his helmet, and amazingly enough, suffered no broken bones. “According to the U.S. ski team coaches, Scott Macartney is awake and feeling good,” organizers said on Sunday. Organizers added Macartney would stay under observation in hospital for a few days but a full recovery was expected.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 58 DAYS
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French yachtsman Francis Joyon and his trimaran “IDEC” arrived in the Brittany port of Brest, France Sunday, January 20, 2008, after completing his nonstop solo circumnavigation of the globe in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 06 seconds. His solo journey obliterated the previous record held by Britain’s MacArthur who did it in 71 days and 14 hours.

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.

Sonics Feed Homeless in New Orleans, Rafael Nadal, Nene Recovering After Surgery

SONICS DISH OUT SOME LOVE
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The Sonics flew to New Orleans on Tuesday, but instead of holding evening practice, they opted for something a little more important. Feeding the homeless. After passing out food at the Bridge House, a local substance-abuse rehab center, the team was driving back to the Fours Seasons hotel, when they noticed an entire community of homeless people living on the corner of Canal and Claiborne. So what did they do? They pulled the team bus over on Canal Street, and ‘a bevy of tall, muscular men pulled food, water and supplies out of the bottom of the bus and began lining up.’ We’re talking about the entire team, the coaching staff, a security guard and a crying coach Carlesimo. “Our guys are just good guys,” he said, wiping the tears from his glasses. “A lot of times you do something like this and it’s almost like you’ve got to make guys come. Our guys, it’s the complete opposite. It’s a great thing.” This mighty-fine team spent 45-minutes handing out food and water to the pour souls who call a freeway underpass home. “It’s a good thing, and at the same time it’s nothing,” Carlesimo said. “But it’s a little something that shows we care and the people appreciate it. It’s depressing, you should appreciate what you have.”
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“When Mardi Gras comes, they want us out of here,” said Luther Davis, 55, who shook hands with several Sonics. “They don’t know what to do with us, and the rent is so high here that we can’t afford it…the Hornets don’t even come over here. Seattle is going to be my favorite team now. Nobody comes over here to help us. And this was one of those days where people were hungry, so we needed this.”

NENE RECOVERING
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Nuggets Nene is recovering after having a “right testicular mass removed” at the Denver Health Medical Center. “I want to thank my fans, my teammates, the Nuggets organization and everyone that’s been supporting me,” Nene said in a statement released by the team before Tuesday night’s game at Atlanta. “My victory will represent their victory as well. Thanks for being with me in this moment. I will remember all the appreciation. I thank God that we could detect this at such an early stage.” Coach Karl: “I can’t deny that talking about Nene was more emotional than some other circumstances I’ve been presented,” Karl said. “I think the team, I don’t know what the word is, but it was a very quiet day. The game that night, the personality was introverted, introspective.” Karl and his son, Coby, have been treated for cancer. “As a cancer survivor and someone who has watched his son go through two cancer-related surgeries, I know firsthand the emotions and fears that you feel when someone says you might have it,” Karl said. “Our job now is to support Nene and be there for him as a family. Basketball is at the bottom of the totem poll at a time like this. We just want him to get healthy.”

VAMOS
It’s been far too long since I’ve quoted our Spanish delicacy, Rafael Nadal. The beast demolished Frenchman Florent Serra 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 during their second round Men’s Singles match at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
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“Maybe for everybody it’s better if we can start the season a little bit later. But it’s fine to start the season hard like this.” Indeed, start hard Rafa, start hard.

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“Every Grand Slam is special and every one is different. I like this atmosphere here. The weather is fine, it’s like a holiday atmosphere, no?” (Yes!)…Should the Swiss Mister Roger Federer lose early and our Nadal win the event, the Spaniard has a statistical chance of possibly taking over number one. “I’m very happy to be number two and I would love to be number two for the next hundred years. It’s a very good position, I’m very happy about my last three seasons, and I will try my best for being in the top position this season, also.”

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“I know Roger has 15 Grand Slams without losing before semi-finals, something like this. I have never won a Grand Slam outside of clay, so I’d love to win any one of them. There are too many coincidences for me. I only try to play my best tennis and worry about me, and, try to go as far as possible.”

TAKE ME TO GHANA
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The continent’s largest spornofest gets under way in Ghana this weekend with some of the soccers hottest men displaying their supreme ability in Africa’s biggest event. The 2008 African Cup of Nations runs from 20 January to 10 February…the roster has left me breathless…we have, of course from Chelsea, my oh-so-exceptionally-talented-and-controversial Didier Drogba (L), John Obi Mikel (C), Saloman Kalou and Mmmmmmichael Essien (R)…Arsenal hotties of note: Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure and Alexandre Song…

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As always, thanks for reading.
delinda@athlebrities.