SI Vault
 
SPORTS BEAT
July 05, 2004
Earlier this year someone asked Pamela Anderson to buy a raffle ticket to raise funds for a gymnast named Mohini Bhardwaj, a 25-year-old Los Angeles woman who was trying to make the U.S. Olympic team. When she heard Bhardwaj's story, Anderson (below) didn't buy a ticket—she donated $20,000. And the actress, who took gymnastics lessons as a preteen growing up in Canada, even took a personal interest in Bhardwaj, who like Anderson is a vegetarian. "She came into the gym and watched a workout," says Bhardwaj. "[The money] alleviated a lot of stress on my part. I think I'd be a nervous wreck if I didn't know she was backing me." Last week at the Olympic trials in Anaheim, Anderson watched from the stands—and held up a GO MO sign—as Bhardwaj finished sixth out of 16. A committee will decide the U.S. team for Athens in a closed-door session at Bela Karolyi's ranch in Huntsville, Texas, next week.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
July 05, 2004

Sports Beat

View CoverRead All Articles

Earlier this year someone asked Pamela Anderson to buy a raffle ticket to raise funds for a gymnast named Mohini Bhardwaj, a 25-year-old Los Angeles woman who was trying to make the U.S. Olympic team. When she heard Bhardwaj's story, Anderson (below) didn't buy a ticket—she donated $20,000. And the actress, who took gymnastics lessons as a preteen growing up in Canada, even took a personal interest in Bhardwaj, who like Anderson is a vegetarian. "She came into the gym and watched a workout," says Bhardwaj. "[The money] alleviated a lot of stress on my part. I think I'd be a nervous wreck if I didn't know she was backing me." Last week at the Olympic trials in Anaheim, Anderson watched from the stands—and held up a GO MO sign—as Bhardwaj finished sixth out of 16. A committee will decide the U.S. team for Athens in a closed-door session at Bela Karolyi's ranch in Huntsville, Texas, next week.

?Survivor Australia winner Tina Wesson bought a Harley with part of her $1 million prize money. Survivor Africa winner Ethan Zohn is trying to do a little more with his. The former Vassar soccer star is giving some of his reality riches to Grassroots Soccer, an African AIDS and HIV awareness program driven by soccer players. Zohn, 30, who played in Zimbabwe before landing on Survivor, will help train professional players as HIV educators and join them in classrooms throughout the African nation, where the life expectancy is 39 years. Says Zohn, "It's the same concept as Charles Barkley going into the inner city to teach kids about drugs."

? Sage Rosenfels, the Dolphins' 26-year-old third-string quarterback, is putting his marketing degree to good use. The former vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America at Iowa State has launched The Ultimate Sage Rosenfels Experience, which allows you to hire him to do, he says, "just about anything" for a nominal fee. (Some of the proceeds go to the Everett Connor Center for Independent Living, an Iowa City charity that assists people with disabilities.) "It's easy to go out and get appearances—and that extra money—if you're Zach [Thomas] or Ricky [Williams]," says Rosenfels. "But as a backup those things are hard to come by. I'll do even the most basic things." Like serving as a wedding singer? "I don't think so." Bachelorette parties? "No, no, no. Think more like watching Monday Night Football with me. I can talk about football all day long."

?Fox's 2004 NASCAR coverage comes to a close with Saturday's Pepsi 400, but commentator Darrell Waltrip still has plenty to keep himself busy. He's building a racing theme park, tire Darrell Waltrip Racing Experience, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., home of Dolly Parton's Dollywood. The park, scheduled to open next year, will feature cart racing, race simulators and a broadcast booth. "I'm trying to create the most realistic experience possible with the simulators," says Waltrip. "I may not be able to literally crash them into a wall going 200 miles an hour, but I can do my best to make them believe they're going to crash into that wall."...Marlins pitcher Carl Pavano and Alyssa Milano, who began dating during Florida's World Series run last fall, have broken up. "I came into [baseball] as a bachelor and kind of enjoy the life, doing my own thing," Pavano said. "I have a lot of different hobbies that take up a lot of time."

1