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andrewbroad
Mar 27th, 2007, 10:09 AM
There is a big feature on Maria in the Sport-section of today's (Tuesday 27th March 2007) issue of British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, which every Maria-fan would want to have, and every Maria-hater should be forced to read.

The article is about Maria's escape from the Chernobyl disaster. The nuclear reactor exploded in April 1986 - 12 months before Maria was born - but had her parents not fled from Gomel to Siberia, she could have been poisoned by radioactive dust, and been facing premature death even now.

Maria recently became a goodwill-ambassador for the United Nations development-programme (UNDP), has already donated more than £50000 to Chernobyl-victims, and can no longer "be unfairly caricatured as the little rich girl who gets all her off-court thrills from shopping till she drops."

Maria: "The coolest thing about making money is that you are able to give back. You have the opportunity to help people. You can only buy so many cars, so many houses, so many dresses and so many pairs of shoes, but it's not going to make you happy. But helping to save lives is incredible. I can't even begin to explain how amazing that is."


There is an on-court colour-photo of Maria on the front page of the Sport-section, and the article itself comes with a huge on-court colour-photo spread over two pages, and an off-court colour-photo. IMO, the on-court photos are among the best there are.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
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http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

jcshie
Mar 27th, 2007, 10:29 AM
Is this the whole article??

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/03/27/sthodg27.xml

Sharapova still haunted by Chernobyl
By Mark Hodgkinson
Last Updated: 9:02am BST 27/03/2007

Chernobyl has been in Maria Sharapova's thoughts lately. Mostly that she considers herself extremely fortunate to have escaped the effects of the world's worst nuclear accident, dodging both possible radiation poisoning and death. Sharapova, a woman usually associated with sporting prowess and frothy, girly glamour, is a 'Chernobyl survivor'.


Safe from harm: Maria Sharapova was fortunate to have escaped Chernobyl after the nuclear reactor exploded in April 1986
In her first interview about the impact the calamity at the nuclear power station has had on her family's history, she spoke of how she could very easily have been among the victims. "When I look back at what happened, I just think, 'Oh, my God, I just can't believe it. I feel so lucky that I got out of it, that I got out of there'. So many people didn't get out of it. There were so many people who were affected by it, so many who died, and it's just terrible to think about it, it's incredible really. I am lucky to be alive and well," she said.

Sharapova disclosed that the key to her coming through unharmed could have been the action taken by her parents, Yuri and Yelena. In the months after the reactor exploded in April 1986, which is said to have thrown out contamination equivalent to more than 100 medium-sized atomic bombs, Sharapova's parents were living in Gomel in Belarus, 80 miles north of Chernobyl. Sharapova's mother was pregnant with her at the time, and she was fretting about what the toxic fall-out could have been doing to the unborn daughter.

And so they fled Belarus and moved to Siberia, where temperatures in the winter can drop to below -40C, but which was one of only a few places the then-poor Sharapova family could afford to resettle to. Yuri went to work on the oilfields. It was there in Siberia, in the town of Nyagan, that Sharapova, a thankfully healthy child and a future Wimbledon champion and world No 1, was born in April 1987. "I still talk to my mother about that, it pops up in conversation from time to time," Sharapova, 19, said. "She has told me that she was really worried about the radiation possibly affecting me before I was born, and about all the possible illnesses and cancers."

Although Sharapova and her parents often still recall their Siberian dash, the subject has been particularly fresh in her mind as, because of her family history and the connection she feels with those affected, she has become a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations development programme. She called her one-dollar deal with the UN her "proudest contract ever". She has already donated more than £50,000 towards those affected by Chernobyl, with the money to be shared between eight projects to help children in rural communities.

It is not the first time that Sharapova has donated a large sum after a disaster in her homeland, as she auctioned off a Porsche she had won at a tournament and gave the proceeds to the victims of the Beslan school massacre when Chechen rebels killed more than 300. But her UN position provides her with a new role as a humanitarian. Sharapova acknowledged that, as well as adding to the funds, she can also use her celebrity to draw the public's attention to the Chernobyl accident. She was launched as a UN ambassador at a ceremony at their headquarters in New York City, and she admitted that she was more nervous before that than she had been before any grand slam tennis match.

"Tennis is only a little game, that's all. I hope people don't look at tennis players like me and think we aren't connected with life outside tennis. We do watch the news, we do see what's going on and we do care. I know that tennis isn't the most important thing," said Sharapova, who made the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open here in Miami after fending off Venus Williams at the weekend.

You could sense that the UN role sat well with her idea of the rest of her life. "The decision to work with the Chernobyl-affected areas was kind of a no-brainer, because it's a part of the world that I feel such a connection with. For some time, I had been intrigued by the idea of giving back. I wanted to make sure that I was committed and that I was ready to do it," Sharapova said, and it was while she was doing preparatory reading on Chernobyl that the horror of the disaster came back to her.

Sharapova would have learned that, although the initial death toll was around 50, the World Health Organisation have estimated that 9,000 people will die prematurely because they were exposed to radioactive dust.

No wonder Sharapova felt so emotional, so moved, by what she read. "Before it was announced I was working with the UN, I studied a lot of the facts about Chernobyl, and that brought it all back. There were things that went on that were so terrible that you couldn't even think about them."

Ambassador Sharapova wants to return to the Chernobyl fall-out zone. "I still have family who are affected by it. My grandmother, Galina, still lives in Gomel. She's my dad's mother. I'm still in contact with her, I still talk to her quite a lot. I haven't met that many of the children yet, but that's something we are working on, hopefully I'll get to go to Belarus as I haven't been there in a really long time. That's one of the worst affected areas. The money that I donated has gone to centres to help children, and I want to visit them and see how they are doing. I want to see for myself with my own eyes how the whole project develops," she said.

So, no longer can Sharapova be unfairly caricatured as the little rich girl who gets all her off-court thrills from shopping still she drops. True, Sharapova owns more than a hundred pairs of shoes. And she has just recently added a home on Manhattan Beach in California to the one she already had in Florida. But she has come to fully appreciate that acquiring more and more possessions is no guarantee of happiness. Sharapova now gets more pleasure from her charity work than she does from walking out of a boutique with another pair of kitten heels.

"The coolest thing about making money is that you are able to give back," Sharapova said. "You have the opportunity to help people. You can only buy so many cars, so many houses, so many dresses and so many pairs of shoes, but it's not going to make you happy. But helping to save lives is incredible. I can't even begin to explain how amazing that is."

Maria on Murray

Maria Sharapova will leave her teens next month, one month earlier than Andy Murray. The Russian has been impressed by the British No 1, both by his shots and his character. "Murray is a young guy and he's doing very well on the tour, so he is clearly very talented," she said. "He has his own opinions, which is great to see. He's also a different sort of personality to the rest of the guys on the men's tour, so I think Murray is great for the world of tennis."

andrewbroad
Mar 27th, 2007, 10:49 AM
Is this the whole article??

The text looks the same, but the photos are different.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

Dinkie
Apr 17th, 2007, 06:17 PM
So, according to this article her mother was pregnant with Maria one year before she was born (it's a miracle!) and Maria stated 'I feel so lucky that I got out of it, that I got out of there' (you weren't even conceived at the time). A 'Chernobyl survivor'? That's just taking advantage of a very tragic event to make a more life story more interesting.
This journalist should be fired, he makes her look stupid.

Aravanecaravan
Apr 17th, 2007, 06:38 PM
So, according to this article her mother was pregnant with Maria one year before she was born (it's a miracle!) and Maria stated 'I feel so lucky that I got out of it, that I got out of there' (you weren't even conceived at the time). A 'Chernobyl survivor'? That's just taking advantage of a very tragic event to make a more life story more interesting.
This journalist should be fired, he makes her look stupid.

Try reading it again--in ENGLISH this time:

"In the months after the reactor exploded in April 1986, which is said to have thrown out contamination equivalent to more than 100 medium-sized atomic bombs, Sharapova's parents were living in Gomel in Belarus, 80 miles north of Chernobyl. Sharapova's mother was pregnant with her at the time, and she was fretting about what the toxic fall-out could have been doing to the unborn daughter."

Dinkie
Apr 17th, 2007, 07:19 PM
I can read thank you very much and I can count too. Stop being so arrogant.

nelsondan
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:21 PM
I can read thank you very much and I can count too. Stop being so arrogant.


That's just taking advantage of a very tragic event to make a more life story more interesting.
This journalist should be fired, he makes dinkie look stupid.

fixed

sharapovarulz1
Apr 17th, 2007, 11:19 PM
Its an ok article though! Damn the fact that i have only just heard about it and cant get me hands on a daily telegraph now!

Dan23
Apr 18th, 2007, 12:06 AM
Nothing wrong with the article....read it again....it says the reactor exploded in April 1986 and in the months after that Maria's mother was pregnant.

ie: The disaster occurred in April 1986 and 3 months or so after the disaster Maria's mother was pregnant resulting in Maria being born in April 1987

It is a bit of a stretch to say Maria escaped the disaster but had Yelena not left the area her pregnancy and then Maria herself may have been affected as so many have been.

andrewbroad
Apr 19th, 2007, 09:53 PM
It doesn't matter whether Maria was an embryo, or even an unconceived soul - it's still accurate to call it an escape.

Especially when the radioactive dust was around for a long time after the meltdown.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)