The origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to ancient Roman times, when a festival was held in mid-February to celebrate fertility and love. Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world and has become a popular occasion for expressing love and appreciation. In honor of Valentines Day, we post our list of the Top 10 Greatest Sports Love Stories.
1. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss – Billie Jean King is an American tennis legend, winner of 39 Grand Slam titles and a feminist icon. Ilana Kloss is a South African former tennis player and coach. The two met in 1972 at a tennis tournament and have been together ever since, co-founding the World Team Tennis league and working on LGBTQ+ activism and social justice causes.
2. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf – Andre Agassi is a retired American tennis player, winner of 8 Grand Slam titles. Steffi Graf is a retired German tennis player, winner of 22 Grand Slam titles. The two met at the French Open in 1993 and married in 2001, becoming one of the most celebrated power couples in sports history.
3. Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly – Derek Jeter is a retired American baseball player, a five-time World Series champion and a 14-time All-Star. Minka Kelly is an American actress, known for her roles in TV series such as “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood”. The two dated on and off for several years, from 2008 to 2011, and remain close friends.
4. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen – Tom Brady is an American football player, considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, with 7 Super Bowl titles. Gisele Bundchen is a Brazilian supermodel, one of the most successful and influential models in history. The two met in 2006 on a blind date and have been together ever since, raising a family and supporting each other’s careers. The couple announced their divorce in 2022.
5. Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra – Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player, considered one of the greatest female athletes of all time, with two World Cup titles and two Olympic gold medals. Nomar Garciaparra is a retired American baseball player, a six-time All-Star and two-time batting champion. The two met at a charity event in 2000 and married in 2003, supporting each other’s athletic careers and raising twin girls.
6. Michelle Kwan and Clay Pell – Michelle Kwan is a retired American figure skater, winner of 2 Olympic medals and 5 World championships. Clay Pell is an American lawyer, military officer, and politician, serving as a director for strategic planning on the National Security staff. The two met in 2011 at a political fundraiser and married in 2013, sharing a passion for public service and supporting each other’s careers.
7. Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods – Lindsey Vonn is a retired American alpine skier, winner of 3 Olympic medals and 4 World Cup titles. Tiger Woods is an American golf player, considered one of the greatest of all time, with 15 major championships. The two met in 2012 and started dating in 2013, sharing a love for sports and adventure, but eventually breaking up in 2015.
8. Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican – Kristi Yamaguchi is a retired American figure skater, winner of the Olympic gold medal and two World championships. Bret Hedican is a retired American ice hockey player, winner of the Stanley Cup and an Olympic silver medal. The two met at the 1992 Winter Olympics and married in 2000, raising two daughters and supporting each other’s athletic careers.
9. Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers – Danica Patrick is a retired American racing driver, one of the most successful female drivers in history. Aaron Rodgers is an American football player, a three-time NFL MVP and a Super Bowl champion. The two met at the ESPY Awards in 2012 and started dating in early 2018. They had a shared interest in health and wellness, with Danica being an advocate for healthy eating and Aaron being an investor in health and wellness companies. However, after two years of dating, the couple announced in July 2020 that they had ended their relationship, with both of them expressing gratitude for the time they spent together.
10. Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson – Michael Phelps is an American retired swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals. Nicole Johnson is an American model and beauty queen, crowned Miss California USA in 2010. The two first met in 2007 at the ESPY Awards, and had an on-again, off-again relationship for several years. They eventually got engaged in 2015, and got married in a private ceremony in 2016. The couple has three sons together and has been open about their struggles and triumphs in their relationship, including Michael’s battles with depression and addiction. They continue to support each other in their careers and personal lives.
Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker – Andy Roddick is a retired American tennis player, a former world No. 1 and US Open champion. Brooklyn Decker is an American model and actress, known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and her roles in various films and TV shows. The two first met in 2007, when Andy asked his agent to contact Brooklyn after seeing her in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. They started dating shortly after and got engaged in 2008, before getting married in 2009. The couple has two children together and have been open about their love and support for each other, with Andy often attending Brooklyn’s fashion events and Brooklyn attending Andy’s tennis matches. They have been together for over a decade and continue to be a happy and loving couple.
Ray Knight and Nancy Lopez – Ray Knight is a retired American professional baseball player and manager, a World Series champion and All-Star. Nancy Lopez is a retired American professional golfer, a three-time major champion and one of the most successful female golfers in history. The two first met in 1982, when Ray saw Nancy on TV and decided to write her a letter. They started a long-distance relationship, with Ray playing baseball for the Houston Astros and Nancy playing golf around the world. They eventually got married in 1982 and have three daughters together. The couple has been open about their love and support for each other, with Ray often attending Nancy’s golf tournaments and Nancy attending Ray’s baseball games. They have been together for over three decades and continue to be a happy and loving couple.
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