With the Olympic Opening Ceremonies only hours away, we are giving you permission to stop the wedding planning for a couple of hours to enjoy a dazzling spectacle that only happens once every four years. Peace and good will are the only thing on the menu tonight. Countries from around the world will convene in London for the next two weeks to compete and show the world what good sportmanship is like.
That being said, it did get me thinking about all those athletes in one confined space for a whole two weeks. It must be very difficult to leave your loved ones behind and go to a foreign place with only your team members to interact with. Or is it?
As with many couples, proximity has a lot to do with who your significant other ends up being. I mean, how many relationships start off in the office, because you just spend so much time together? Sometimes, it’s inevitable.
We found that this is also the case with many athletes/Olympians. With similar training schedules, daily routines, eating habits, etc. you wouldn’t be shocked to know that it makes sense for these types of individuals to gravitate towards each other.
Here are just a few Olympic couples we found in the recent years:
Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner: Nadia, now 46, as a Romanian gymnast won five Olympic gold medals in all-around, balance beam and uneven bars and was the first to score a perfect 10 in an Olympic event. Conner, 50, took gold on the parallel bars in 1984. The two had met at a meet in 1976 and 20 years later, they got married in Bucharest. Nadia became a U.S. citizen in 2001. Now they run a gymnastics school in Norman, Okla., and do TV commentary and much charity work. They had a baby boy in 2006.
Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra: Mia, 36, is certainly the most famous women’s soccer player ever … she led the U.S. team to Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004 and holds the record (male or female) for most international goals (158). Nomar, 35, led the AL in batting with averages of .357 and .372 … phenomenal for a shortstop … with the Red Sox. He’s playing for the Dodgers now as his career winds down. The two met at a charity event, she divorced her husband and they married in 2003. She gave birth to twin girls in 2007.
Misty May and Matt Treanor: Misty, 31, won gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in beach volleyball with partner Kerri Walsh. Matt, 32, is in his fifth season with the Marlins as a backup catcher. They met at a sports therapy clinic in California and married in 2004.
Julianne McNamara and Todd Zeile: Julianne, 42, took gold on the uneven bars with a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics. Then she went the TV route, only acting, not announcing, as she appeared on “Charles in Charge” and “Knight Rider.” In 1989, she married Todd, now 43, whom she had known at UCLA. They have four children. Todd spent 16 years in the majors as a catcher and third baseman; he achieved career highs of 31 homers, 103 RBI and .293. He caught the acting bug himself, playing in 2005′s movie “Dirty Deeds.”
Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican: What a pleasant surprise for her fans when Kristi, 37, returned from domestic obscurity to win the popular “Dancing With the Stars” TV show this year. She had been retired for six years from figure skating, a career highlighted by taking gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics and then touring professionally. She’s also done some acting (“Everybody Loves Raymond”). At the Olympics, she had met Bret, now 38, who was on the U.S. hockey team. They married in 2000 and have two daughters. Bret has spent 19 seasons in the NHL, most recently as a defenseman with the Carolina Hurricanes.
So as you watch the Opening Ceremonies tonight, make sure to listen and watch all the back stories on the athletes. We are sure you will find a few that wil or have already coupled up, could possibly get engaged in London, have an Olympic sized wedding, and possibly produce future Olympians of their own. This just goes to show you, you never know where you might find the future love of your life.