The Olympics often leave me in awe of some of our fabulous athletes. Serena Williams is a champion who is remarkable in so many ways. Venus and her sister, Serena, began playing tennis on local Compton courts with Dad as the coach. Her family kept them out of organized tennis because of the rampant racism of the sport and the reported sexual abuse of some young players.
Tennis did not want the Williams sisters to compete and refused to rank them, but they were the best, and the sport could not keep excluding them from competition.
After they started regular tournaments there were many players, fans and administrators who tried to break their spirit and winning streaks. Strong family ties kept the girls focused and away from the demons of tennis.
Venus, a great champion, now is somewhat sidelined by health problems, but still plays doubles and recently won with Serena at Wimbledon. Serena continues in singles play and is a sight to behold.
Serena will only be defeated by the coming of age. Her physique is a marvel. She is the epitome of womanhood with a big streak of human goddess. In a crowd of athletes, Serena stands out because she is so very feminine and certainly not emaciated. Serena likes to give manicures and both sisters studied art and design clothes.
Serena’s story is even more remarkable because she recently survived a pulmonary embolus and had a mesh screen grafted intravascularly.
For most people this would be the end of a spectacular career. Believe me, nobody wants to risk a second pulmonary embolus. But for Serena, after recuperating, she returned to her work on the courts with all of the energy and spirit of a risen warrior. To see her play brings tears to my eyes because it is a beautiful dance and display of athleticism and knowledge. I am amazed at her abilities to do so much after the life-threatening experiences.
Serena won Wimbledon again a month ago for the fifth time and has 14 Grand Slam championships. Serena and Venus won Olympic gold in doubles in 2000 and 2008 and Venus won Olympic gold in singles in 2000.
Now, Serena is at the 2012 Olympics and wowed audiences who were lucky enough to get tickets. Serena rapidly defeated Olympic player after player. On Saturday at the Olympics, Serena easily won over Maria Sharapova in 63 minutes (ace-after-ace, 10 times), making Serena only the second woman to complete a Career Golden Slam — winning all four majors and an Olympic singles gold medal. Serena is the only woman to have a Golden Slam in singles and in doubles.
On Sunday, Venus and Serena won gold for doubles.
At this moment is history, you are seeing Serena, an amazing athlete, in spectacular form. Enjoy the vision. Serenas are very rare. Maybe it is because Venus can’t play that Serena has brought forth these amazing abilities to new levels. Serena celebrated her victories openly as she should. She worked hard for years, played extremely well, was successful, and repeatedly honored the U.S. Serena has not lost to a Russian player since 2004.
I guess you can tell I am a longtime Williams sisters’ fan. As a physician, I work mostly with people who have problems caring for their bodies and their minds, so I can really appreciate it when admirable role models like Venus and Serena Williams appear. The Williams sisters, making 2012 Olympic history in London.
Congratulations, Serena. Congratulations, Venus. Congratulations, Williams family for raising epic champions.
Loraine Goodwin, MD, JD,