Martina Navratilova, the most decorated player in Wimbledon

Martina Navratilova (Prague, October 18, 1956), one of the best tennis players in history and the most decorated Wimbledon, made us vibrate with his duels with American Chris Evert in the eighties. But it is also a LGBT activist movement that faced sexism in sport. It was common to hear comments about his “lack of femininity” and suffered a media lynching when he openly declared she was a lesbian.

Young was forced to hide their sexual orientation for fear of the Czech communist government, which, in the late seventies, considered “sick” to gays and lesbians. When it went public in 1981, he met rejection of his mother and stepfather who made statements calling her “sick”.

However, personal obstacles made it stronger on the track and forged a champion. Navratilova opened his record in 1978 by winning for the first time the famous English tournament and was nine times champion of the contest.

Navratilova was also the oldest player to win a Gram Slam, at age 49, thus breaking another barrier in one of the most sexist sports. He retired in 2006 in excellent physical shape after playing (and losing) final last: a mixed doubles teaming with American Bob Bryant. As noted in his biography ‘Being myself’ ( ‘being myself’): “The ball does not know how old I have.”

The story of Martina Navratilova is a fighter who, despite the power of his left arm and sporting success, has faced tough opponents as losing his father at eight years, cancer mum, which it has successfully recovered after being detected in 2010, or attacks for being a lesbian.

As a teenager, Navratilova won the National Tennis Championship Czechoslovakia, and, a year later, at 16, debuted in the United States, where he won his first professional title (in Orlando, Florida, in 1974). To compete at a high level, Martina had to nationalize US, as political differences with the former Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) prevented him from playing on American soil. Later, in 2008, Navratilova get regain Czech citizenship and hold dual citizenship.

And American, Navratilova got her first Gram Slam women’s doubles pair as Chris Evert, who would become one of its main rivals on the track. a brilliant career in tennis all modes (single, women’s doubles and mixed doubles) thus inciaba.

In the latter category, he made history with the Indian tennis player Leander Paes. Both won the Australia Open and Wimbledon in 2003. Navratilova has always believed in the equality of men and women in sport and proof of this was the single confrontation with Jimmy Connors in 1994, who won the player of Illinois (7 -5, 6-2). Although many commentators blamed victory to male superiority in the serve and faster, this time the nerves were the main difference between the two since Martina made seven double faults in the first set. It was a party that broke stereotypes by challenging the myth that a woman could not compete face to face with a man.

Navratilova has worked in the fight against discrimination of women and the group of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, lending his image to campaigns and organizing mixed tennis championships. He is an ecologist and is linked to causes of defending the rights of children. Juror of the Laureus (the Oscars of sport) Awards is currently very devoted to the writer of fiction and essays. His latest work is the manual of lifestyle and fitness ‘Shape yourself’, published in 2006.