World Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament Raises US$500,000 for Yao Ming and UNICEF
Mission Hills Group, one of China’s leading golf and tourism operators, announced that the 2012 Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am has raised a total of US$500,000 for the tournament’s charitable partners—Yao Ming and UNICEF.
Some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the international sports scene descended on the tropical island of Hainan in southern China for the three day spectacular.
Billed as ‘China’s top entertainment event of the year,’ Celebs in attendance included: Yao Ming, Michael Phelps, Ronaldo, Stephen Hendry, Pat Cash, Andy Garcia, Adrien Brody, Ryan Reynolds, Minka Kelly, Matt Kuchar, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell, Simon Dyson, Ian Woosnan, and Tony Jacklin.
Commenting on the donation, former NBA star Yao Ming said, “I’m extremely grateful to Mission Hills and everybody involved with this fantastic event for making this donation. We’ll continue to improve the lives of children both in China and the US and these funds will go directly towards projects we’ve got underway in these countries.” (Yao even received a custom-made golf club for the event) Continue reading
Juventus captain and former Italy forward Alessandro Del Piero is being credited with waking a young Italian girl from a coma after hearing a message from her soccer hero.
Apparently, Giada Scalise suffered a brain hemorrhage on January 22 while watching a Juventus game on TV…she lapsed into a coma, and after several weeks her parents reached out to Del Piero’s help via a charity.
ANSA.IT reports: The parents of Giada, a big Juventus supporter from the small southern town of Cerenzia, believe the footballer made an important contribution to the happy outcome. “That night (after listening to the message) something special happened,” said the girl’s father, Francesco. “First she moved her hand and then after a few hours she called out ‘mamma’. Then after about 24 hours she talked and asked for an ice-cream”. Continue reading
“They are a population that has lost everything, and even hope is starting to fade. Darfur United gives them a sense of being part of something greater than being what they are now labeled: a refugee.” ~i-ACT Founder/Director Gabriel Stauring
Since 2005, the Founder and Director of i-ACT, Gabriel Stauring has visited Darfur 11 times, namely-the refugee camps along the Chad/Sudan border. The non-profit’s volunteer arm, Stop Genocide Now, has garnered international attention and now, i-ACT is essentially creating a soccer team made up of the best players from the refugee camps along the border.
The team is called Darfur United.
In addition to his numerous visits to Darfur, Stauring has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, and is featured in ‘The Enough Moment’ by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle.
Athlebrities was thrilled to interview this amazing man about issues related to Darfur, the refugees in that area, how the beautiful game can change lives, and what we can do to help. I opted to run the interview, unedited, in its entirety because, quite frankly, every word is important. Continue reading
Marta Visits Sierra Leone to Empower Women
Her real name is Marta Vieira da Silva- you know, the Brazilian soccer star better known as Marta, the world’s top female player currently using her celebrity status to help empower women in Sierra Leone in her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme? Yea, that Marta.
“We all need to contribute to help defeat poverty,” said Marta, five-time winner of the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year title. “UNDP works around the world making a positive difference in people’s lives, and I am proud to add my personal commitment to its work.”
Marta was appointment as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador last year and has just taken her first trip to Africa where she visited Sierra Leone to promote local efforts that empower women, one of the eight internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which seek to end extreme poverty by 2015.
Marta was appointed a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador in October 2010 to promote the MDGs, with a special emphasis on the gender dimension of poverty. She is part of an elite group of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, which includes soccer stars Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Iker Casillas and Didier Drogba, Japanese actress Misako Konno, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000. The eight MDGs aim to eradicate or reduce poverty, hunger, child mortality and disease, and to promote education, maternal health, gender equality, environmental sustainability and global partnerships. The target date for achieving the MDGs is 2015. Sport has been recognized as a viable and practical tool to assist in the achievement of the MDGs. While sport does not have the capacity to tackle solely the MDGs, it can be very effective when part of a broad, holistic approach to addressing the MDGs.
Sport and Peace…it’s a beautiful thing.
As always, thanks for reading~
Soccer Recap: Match Against Poverty, Beckhams Childhood Home, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and that silly Diego Maradona
MATCH AGAINST POVERTY
“We are thrilled that the ‘Match Against Poverty’ is attracting more and more spectators. This is a game we all need to win.” Ronaldo
Close to 30,000 soccer fans attended Monday’s fifth edition of the Match Against Poverty…the event, organized by football legends Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, is just a small part of their role as Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The objective of the match is to raise public awareness of the fight against poverty and to convince governments of the value of working towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to cut world poverty in half by 2015.
The game was played between ‘Friends of Zidane’ and the ‘Friends of Ronaldo’ and ended in a 2-2 draw. “The aim of such a match is to make people aware of the problem of poverty in the world,” said AC Milan star Ronaldo, who is still battling an injury and was substituted in the first half by seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher. “We don’t forget where we have come from and we are uniting in a good cause,” former France international Zidane, who grew up in a poor neighborhood of Marseille. The match was played in the central Moroccan city of Fez. Proceeds will as in previous years benefit anti-poverty projects in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Need more? There’s pa-lenty of video footage available on Youtube!
Inter Milan’s sexy Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been awarded ‘The Ball of Gold’ after the Swedish Soccer Award 2008 Gala dinner at the Globen Arena in Stockholm…the beast won gold for ‘best Swedish soccer player of 2008’…another one of our Golden Balls, David Beckham, has proven he’s got much more than the Midas Touch…an offer has been made on a home in London where Golden Balls lived for the first two years of his life. The Victorian terraced house-sans the Beckham connection-is valued around $365,000…but the Beck’s connection was sniffed out by an ‘unnamed’ Australian businessman who collects Beckham memorabilia and dude offered up $1.4M for the pad…
I haven’t quite gotten used to our furry beast, Diego Maradona, being named Argentina’s coach, but I am certainly ready for the shenanigans…oh, and they’ve already started. Coach Diego lost his pendant during a training session…one of the ball boys later found it and was oh-so graciously mauled by the beast.
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As always, thanks for reading.
Camilo Villegas at Wachovia, Athlete Engineered Skincare Products, AC Milan, Real Wins 31st, Kentucky Derby of Death, Kobe Bryant MVP, Courtside Hotness, Lebron James Crybaby T-Shirt, The Three Ronaldo’s, PETA Lashes Out at Hillary Clinton & Kentucky Derby
ON YOUR KNEES BOY
First-time PGA Tour winner Anthony Kim broke the 72-hole scoring record at the Wachovia Championship this past weekend by finishing 16-under par…awesome. But when Camilo Villegas dropped to his knees on the 15th green during the third round I just about exploded.
MISSION: SUPPLE SKIN ON NASHTY’S FEET
Mission, the first Athlete-Engineered Skincare line launched last week. Josh Shaw, MISSION Product’s Founder and President. “MISSION Product will revolutionize how athletes hydrate, nourish, restore, and protect their skin, whether they’re an Olympic hopeful, a running enthusiast or even a weekend warrior.” Why do we care? Because Steve Nash, among others, have joined the team at MISSION Product and are intimately involved in product innovation and development. “I’m really proud to be a founding athlete with MISSION Product. I use all of our first five products and they are outstanding,” said Steve Nash. “I am especially dependent on our foot gel, which helps re-energize my feet between the regular beatings they take on the court.” And, sales from the sunscreen, foot gel, lip balm, anti-friction cream, and others supports the charities of its athletes, including The Steve Nash Foundation, Oceana, The Mia Hamm Foundation, H2O Africa and more. Check em out.
AC MILAN ME
AC Milan beat Inter 2-1 on Sunday to open the title race with second-placed AS Roma winning 3-0. Inter’s lead has been cut to three points with two games left after Filippo Inzaghi and Kaka scored early in the second half for Milan, who move into the final Champions League qualifying place…and yeah, I know ya’all don’t care ‘bout the scores as much as you do about our emotional babes. “I’m so emotional, we’ve won, Fiorentina lost. We did what Inter should have done,” said Kaka, “They haven’t won the title and we’ve taken a step towards the Champions League. Now everything depends on us.”
And those silly AC Milan fans hung an interesting banner aimed at Inter Milan’s fans…I don’t think I need to translate it.
It would have been a great weekend to be in Spain. Real Madrid celebrated the teams 31st league title after a 2-1 win on Sunday. As thousands of fans converged on the famous Cibelas fountain in the Spanish capital, Real’s Raul climbed to the top of the statue and planted a hearty kiss.
Kobe Bryant, his wife Vanessa, and their daughters Natalia and Gianna also must have had a great weekend after the Lakers’ beat the Utah Jazz in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals. And it looks like Kobe has just been awarded the NBA’s MVP award for the first time…or has he? The Los Angeles Times says “yes,” citing anonymous sources familiar with the outcome of voting by media members. They also reported that commissioner Stern will be in LA next week to present the trophy to Bryant. But…“We have not been told anything by the league,” Lakers spokesman John Black told The Associated Press.
Kobe rightly deserves the MVP award, so lets not even explore that issue. I dare say the celeb’s in attendance must feel the same way. Courtside hotness: Robert Downey Jr, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Kevin Connolly (Entourage) and Denzel Washington…at least we know these guys were sitting courtside at the Lakers game and weren’t taking part in the Kentucky Derby of Death.
THE KENTUCKY DERBY OF DEATH
NBC earned a 9.5 overnight Nielsen rating for the race segment of its Kentucky Derby coverage, down 3% from last year’s 9.8. Thank god-I can only pray the ratings continue to drop and PETA opens up a can of whoop-ass on this bullshit and cruel sport. Big Brown won the race, but second-place finisher Eight Belles was euthanized following her less than perfect performance. Perhaps Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post put it best: “Thoroughbred racing is in a moral crisis, and everyone now knows it.”
Speaking of PETA, they are in fact opening a can of whoop-ass-on Hillary Clinton. In a USA TODAY cover story, Halladay & Cherner write PETA sent a letter to Hillary Clinton asking her to “condemn horseracing and chiding her for placing a bet on Eight Belles.” PETA wrote in its letter to Clinton, “I regret to say that your public support of horse racing—and specifically betting on Eight Belles—makes you culpable in her destruction. We cannot call ourselves a civilized nation if we allow any living being to endure such abuse.” PETA also wants Eight Belles jockey Gabriel Saez “suspended for what it says was excessive whipping” and PETA spokesperson Kathy Guillermo said that the group is also “calling for a ban on race training for horses younger than 3 and the mandatory use of synthetic track surfaces, considered by many to be safer.” Rest in peace Eight Belles, rest in peace.
I will never order pizza from anywhere else except Papa John’s-even though they apologized for the distribution of “No. 23 T-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Crybaby’ and the [chain’s] logo” during Cavaliers-Wizards Game Six Friday night. Priceless. The shirts reference Wizards babe Brendan Haywood calling LeBron a crybaby for complaining, “about hard fouls from Wizards players he thought were intended to injure.” To make up for ‘unintentionally’ reiterating the fact that Lebron is indeed a crybaby-Papa John’s said it will sell customers pizza’s for 23 cents and will donate the $0.23 from each pizza sold and an extra $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund.
RONALDO, RONALDINHO, CRISTIANO RONALDO
First of all, I think it’s important to clarify the Ronaldo’s out there. We’ve got Cristiano Ronaldo (L), the Portuguese hottie currently kicking the ball with Man-U; then we’ve got Ronaldinho©, the Brazilian beast from FC Barcelona (and NOT to be confused with one of the trannies that Ronaldo picked up) and finally, the trannie loving Ronaldo, the Brazilian AC Milan striker who is now in hiding after embarrassing himself by picking up hookers who ended up being transvestites. Ronaldo is denying it-but- according to rumors, his endorsement contracts are dropping him quicker than his wife should. Ronaldo was reported to have been dumped by phone company TIM, who declined to comment on the rumors but said they “are analyzing the situation.” His TIM deal is worth $4.8M and includes a clause that allows the company to “unilaterally end the deal if Ronaldo [is] involved in negative publicity.” Nike also reportedly is “reviewing a lifetime endorsement deal with Ronaldo worth around” $100M. Damn, poor guy, $104.8M and he didn’t even get laid…
As always, thanks for reading.