“The ball doesn’t know how old I am.” ~Martina Navrátilová
Another great challenge that Martina conquered was controlling her diet. During her first visit to the US in 1973, Martina put on 20 pounds in just two weeks, discovering the foods on the other side of the Iron Curtain. She lost the weight naturally when she returned home to an active routine. However, after her defection, Martina ballooned to 170 pounds. People thought she was lonely but in reality Martina lacked the proper knowledge about nutrition and exercise. Fast forward the course of a career that spanned an amazing four decades, Martina is a leader on personal fitness and healthy living, attested by her own comeback from retirement at the age of 43. Her diet and work ethic ultimately resulted in her being selected to represent the US at the Olympics in 2004, her first Olympics. Although losing in the quarterfinals, she became the oldest Olympic tennis player in the history of the Games. Moreover, Martina captured her final grand slam title in mixed doubles a month shy of her 50th birthday! Still, she praises her mom for being a great role model in teaching her just how important sports are for young girls.
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