SI Vault
 
My Little Sweatie Pie
February 17, 2003
Does love affect hang time? The truth about two-athlete relationships
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 17, 2003

My Little Sweatie Pie

Does love affect hang time? The truth about two-athlete relationships

View CoverRead All Articles

As Valentines Day approaches, the word is that Serena Williams and Keyshawn Johnson are embarking on the seas of romance. So have a lot of other sports stars. But is this good for their careers? We checked.

LORI BOWDEN, 35; PETER REID, 33
Ironman World Champions (right)

How they met
At an Ironman competition in Japan in 1993. Says Bowden, "It's pretty shallow, but I took up the sport to meet cute boys."

How they're doing
"We started dating full time in '96, and that's when the [great] performances started," says Reid. The year they married, '98, Reid won his first world championship, then won again in 2000. Bowden won the women's division in '99. "He inspired me," she says. "Seeing the way Peter trains was my motivation. We're a support crew for each other."

KRISTI YAMAGUCHI, 31; BRET HEDICAN, 32
Figure skater; Hurricanes' defender

How they met
Hedican says at the 1992 Olympics, where Yamaguchi won gold, but she doesn't recall. She thinks it may have been when he asked her out for ice cream in Vancouver in '95.

How they're doing
They began dating right after that first cone, and Yamaguchi skated to World Pro Figure Skating Championships in '96 and '97. Hedican had a career-high 29 points in 1995-96 and went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002, two years after their wedding. They plan to start a family. "Her mother keeps saying she needs a picture of a grandchild," Hedican says.

KIM CLIJSTERS, 19; LLEYTON HEWITT, 21
Tennis players
How they met
At the 2000 Australian Open, when Clijsters asked Hewitt for an autograph for her sister, Elke.

How they're doing
There's been precious little love in their tennis, and that of course is a good thing. Australia's Hewitt, who finished 1999 ranked No. 22, is now No. 1, and Clijsters, a Belgian, has soared from No. 47 to No. 3. The couple has denied rumors that they're engaged, but Clijsters is considering applying for Australian citizenship.

ALISA CAMPLIN, 28; STEVE OMISCHL, 24
Aerial skiers (right)

Continue Story
1 2