This week's edition of ESPN's newsmagazine E:60 included a segment on Maria Sharapova's recent visit to her hometown, which her parents fled in the wake of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. If not for the move, Sharapova likely never would have gotten into tennis, she says.
It's a fine piece that broadly covers Sharapova's career, Martina Navratilova's role in getting her to the United States, her and her father's modest start here, and also details the charity work of the world's top-earning female athlete. We could have done without Rachel Nichols' question of whether Sharapova should be donating more money to programs in Russia (it seemed gratuitious and a bit uncouth in such a setting), but that's a trivial matter.
I think Maria's story could be made into a film one day. I think people underestimate what she went through as a child. Most young people I know could never have coped with what she has and got through it. I admire her very much. This gives a glimpse into a side of Maria those that say they don't like her either ignore or are unaware of.
Come to think of it the BBC should as her to go on Who Do You Think You Are.
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:17 AM
What a great story!!! and People still questionning about why she is popular? C'MON guys!!!
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:44 AM
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:54 AM
Nice to read :) I love finding out about players history, really makes them more than just 'players'
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:55 AM
But she wasn't born until after they left, so how is that her hometown?? :confused:
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:57 AM
Maria Sharapova visits hometown affected by Chernobyl
Gomel, Belarus used to be her parent's hometown before she was born. But it was never Maria's hometown, as her parents moved to Nyagan, Siberia far away from Gomel and Chernobyl, 4 months before she was born, because they didn't want to expose a baby to that nuclear affected region. They moved to Siberia because her mom's dad happened to be working in Siberia.