Rafael Nadal: To the victor go the spoils and the ATP Tour’s proven King of Clay returned to championship form winning this weekend’s French Open titled for a record 9th time in his career. Rafa worked his way past Novak Djokovic in 4 sets to tie Pete Sampras with 14 Grand Slam singles titles, putting him just 3 wins behind the all-time leader Roger Federer. These are exciting times for Rafa and Federer fans as two of the sport’s greatest players are both entering the last leg of their careers and are battling their way to more trophies than anyone ever in the history of the sport.
Nyjah Huston: If you barely watch actions sports you know who Nyjah Huston is only because he seems to be the only guy you hear about. If you love action sports and skateboarding especially, Nyjah Huston is that dude, becoming the sport’s modern day Tiger Woods and racking up the top trophy at every event he seems to enter. The now widely recognized King of street skating grabbed his latest Gold Medal at the X-Games street skate event Sunday and his success and ever-growing pop cultural influence could bode well for future endeavors with endorsements and other career opportunities outside of skateboarding.
Rory McIlroy: The long, rolling fairways of Pinehurst #2 should suit the eye of Tiger Wood’s Nike protégé Rory McIlroy quite well when the U.S. open tournament returns to the historic course for the first time since 2005. Rory captured his first major win at the U.S. Open tournament in 2011 and he is the heavy favorite to come out on top heading into this week’s events at the esteemed golf sanctuary in North Carolina. Another big win for one of the world’s most marketable athletes could foster a new level of superstardom for this young, Northern Irishman.
Oscar De La Hoya: With a life full of golden triumphs, one might think Oscar De La Hoya was a distant descendent of King Midas himself. The Golden Boy was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday and the boxing world celebrated a man whose career has defined longevity and encompassed 6 weight classes on the way to 10 world titles. His golden likeness continues to stand outside the Staples Center alongside other L.A. greats Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky and now he has etched a permanent mark in boxing history. Stay golden, Ponyboy.
Jozy Altidore: Although Jozy Altidore’s goal drought was nothing like living in the dustbowl in the 1930’s, U.S. soccer fans we’re thirsty for any signs of life from one of the national team’s perennial goal-scorers. As the saying goes when it rains it pours and the player known for his flair for the dramatic deposited two goals in the back of the net in the team’s final tune-up friendly before heading off to play on the soccer world’s biggest stage. We expect Jozy to take on a bigger leadership role this World Cup and he could become the team’s go-to man in crunch time.
Pele: As arguably the greatest soccer player ever to live and play in the Fifa World Cup, Pele sure is busy around this time every 4 years when the World Cup returns to set the world ablaze for a few short weeks. This year the stage is set in his home country of Brazil and what better time than now to get your brand publicity right? Seattle-based sports energy drink company Golazo just signed the soccer legend on as a global brand ambassador for their upcoming marketing campaigns. I guess now we know what’s going to keep Pele hydrated during the next few weeks of World Cup madness!
Amelie Mauresmo: For the most part men’s and women’s sports can be drastically different in nature but it seems Andy Murray thinks a woman’s careful eye is just what he needs at the peak of his career. Former French tennis great Amelie Mauresmo will be helping Andy gear up for the grass courts of Wimbledon and becomes the first female coach employed by one of the sport’s top talents on the men’s side of the AVP Tour. A Wimbledon champ herself, we’d say this could be a huge career move for both Amelie and Andy in the coming weeks!
Flip Saunders: A number of NBA organizations are following the recent trend of hiring first year coaches to save their franchise but what’s wrong with proven success? The T-Wolves bypassed the uncertainty and called upon their former stud head coach Flip Saunders to take over as president of basketball operations, heads coach and part-owner. The game surely has flipped back into Saunders favor as his new duties make him the most powerful organization member in all of the NBA.
Drew Doughty: Sure the L.A. Kings weren’t the glaring favorite to return to the Stanley Cup this year but ask Drew Doughty and he could’ve told you they’d be back. After winning the Cup in 2012 and taking a 3-0 series lead in this series, Drew Doughty and his fellow Kings could be crowned champions again soon enough with 1 more win over the New York Rangers. After this stellar season, the 24-year-old hockey star will surely be touted as the best defensivemen on the ice this year and a win would give him 2 Olympic Gold Medals with Canada and 2 Stanley Cup Finals titles with the Kings. That’s quite the haul in 6 years of action there kid!
Stephen Curry: The sharpshooting point guard affectionately known as one half of the Splash Bros made his greatest assist of the court this year. Stephen earned the league’s Kia Community Assist Seasonlong Award as the most active humanitarian in his community this season. His non-profit efforts with ThanksUSA, the NBA Cares initiative, and other charity work in the Bay Area is shaping this standup young man out to be more than just the incredible basketball player that kids everyone have come to idolize.
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