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Venus Williamsone of the greatest players of all time and a tennis player capable of sitting on the throne of the world ranking in both singles and doubles respectively in 2002 and 2010, has released a long interviewWednesday 4 May, to Claudia Eller from Variety – weekly magazine that deals with the world of entertainment, entertainment and cinema – on the sidelines of the ceremony held in New York to award the protagonists chosen for 2022 for the recognition of Power of Woman.

The title is attributed annually by the American magazine to all those women who, having a public life due to their profession and consequently being able to enjoy a large media following, have distinguished themselves for their ability to influence in order to stir consciences. on social issues of primary importance. Along with the 7-time Grand Slam champion, the actresses were also awarded: Drew Barrymorethe Canadian Kim Cattrall and Amanda Seyfried (also former model); in addition to the Cuban-born singer Camila Cabelloand the film producer and well-known face of US television Queen Latifah.

VENUS’S FIGHT FOR WAGE EQUALITY – The first part of the questions focuses on the central and most substantial theme of the whole complex of statements by the eldest of the sisters who have left an indelible mark in modern tennis: Venus’s fight for wage fairness in favor of women and consequently for equal rights between the sexes in the world of tennis. (on the march for pay justice, the American legend had already been interviewed by Sports Illustrated) A battle that for the four-time Olympic gold medal (3 in doubles and 1 in singles) began right from his first steps in professionalism, in what it was a revolutionary experience for the young stars and stripes champion: “I arrived in Wimbledon and realized that situation of social injustice. I remember saying ‘Wow I’m not paid the same way as men‘. It was certainly a slap in the face to a girl of only 16, hard to digest. That experience hit me hard“. From then on, the approach to that issue was no longer the same for the current n. 530, which started agenuine crusade to close the pay gap and ensure that women earn the same cash prize as men. His protests, along with other factors, contributed to the change. In fact, when he won his first title at Church Road in 2000 he didn’t get the corresponding check from Pete Sampras; but when he got it back 7 years later his prize money was identical to Roger Federer’s – remember that the British Grand Slam was the last to implement wage parity, exactly one year after Roland Garros -: “Two years after my third triumph on the Champhionship lawns, after more than thirty years of fighting for the same prize pool, we finally reached the goal. It was a wonderful moment “. And then dear Venus never stopped, pulling herself up to second place all-time for prize money in career.

THE MOST FARING EXAMPLES: BILLIE JEAN KING AND KATHRINE SWITZER – The 41-year-old Californian also adds a due recognition for another “great” of women’s tennis like Billie Jean kingwhich was the first in the 70s a raise the issue of wage discrimination; also citing other great sportsmen who were able to change the mentality and backward beliefs of the society of the time such as Kathrine Switzer: “The problem was never addressed until the 1960s when a woman [Switzer, ndr] he ran a marathon for the first time and had to pretend to be a boy“. Williams also points out: “Until recently women couldn’t even have credit cards or inherit property. We have fought thousands of years of inequality, so we can’t think that change will happen overnight. We want it and we work trying to get it. But it’s about change minds, change cultures, change history, and it’s about not give up. Women are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, and the wage gap is even wider for minorities, especially women of color and across US borders. At least in the United States one can have a conversation about these kinds of issues, while outside the United States it is very difficult to have one“.

THE ROOTS AND IMPORTANCE OF MOM ORACENE, WITH A MEMORY FOR YETUNDE – At this point the trajectory of the reflections and considerations of the former n. 1, focuses its sights on family and values that he transmitted to him; with also a memory of the missing sister. We recall that Oracene Price had a first marriage with Yusef Rasheed; from which Yetunde, Lyndrea and Isha were born. Then after the death of her husband she got married again: “The atmosphere was always very peaceful, there was always someone to gossip with, being a family full of girls. While our father, Richard, pushed Serena and me to become world-class players through training, strength, humor and the prospect of a healthy and better life. I grew up like my sisters in Compton where we now run a charity called the Yetunde Price Resource Center which provides income, aid and community services and was founded in honor of our sister Yetunde, who was murdered in Compton at the age of 31 years old. In the end my mother was instrumental in shaping my sisters and me during our formative years“. Then Venus makes a deeper portrait of her mother Oracene, making it clear what a wonderful inspiration she was and is still her mother: My mother was and is a source of inspiration. She is a wonderful and funny woman, a strong woman, a good tennis player and a great cook. She is also very strong spiritually, so she has given us the opportunity to have faith and hope and to be calm and not stressed from everyday worries. It also impressed on us the importance of speaking the truth and living the truth“.

THE MODELS OF THE IDEAL WOMAN – In the second part of the chat with the journalist – one of the most relevant in the entertainment scene – the 41-year-old from Lynwood was asked what are her models of ideal woman and by which she constantly draws inspiration. Venus has ranged widely in her response, stating that in addition to her fundamental family roots, his female points of reference are also found in other spheres, such as that ofGerman artist Anni Albers or of the multiple champion of athletics Wilma Rudolph or even strong women like the writer Winfrey and capable of supporting and sustaining great politicians with not insignificant responsibilities like the former first lady Michelle Obama: “Surely, in addition to my mother and my sisters who were fundamental, I look at different types of women than usual and who give me a lot of interest in them. Who couldn’t love Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama“. Then it shifts the focus to the defunct Teutonic creative. “He ended up having to work in the textile industry because that was what was expected at the time. But she was an incredible artist who really broke down the barriers for women ”. Finally, space for the sprinter and three-time gold medal at the Rome ’60 Olympics, who was diagnosed with serious infectious disease as a child and was told that she could no longer walk: “I don’t know how to become an Olympic champion with polio, but she did. Incredible“.

WITHDRAWAL IS NOW IMMINENT – The last excerpt of the dialogue is instead reserved for what will be the new chapter of his life when he decides to permanently hang up the racket. Venus declined to reveal any details about when she plans to return to competitions, but she let herself go in imagining what the future holds, and in recent months thanks to off-field activities – such as sponsorship of the film King Richard and her role as executive producer on the project. In which she tried to develop each character to the maximum, she refused to comment on Will Smith’s slip during the night of the Oscars – she has already begun to savor what will be there for her after tennis. First of all, the feelings about the retirement, albeit not yet decided, now imminent given the age: “ I am aware that now the withdrawal is not so far“. Then the five-time Wimbledon champion emphasized the wonderful journey that King Richard was – her film about her family and especially about her father.

THE FUTURE IN CINEMA, WITHOUT ABANDONING SPORT – In fact, she focused on how nice it was to share this experience with her sisters Serena (here the book on the untold story about the Williams dynasty) and Isha Price and in particular on as much as attracting the world of cinema, especially that sports documentaries. That it was outlined his future profession? Who knows, surely who better than the first African American player in the history of the Open Era to occupy the first world position, to tell the sporting deeds: “There are so many amazing women in Hollywood that it would be great to work with. I’d like to work with the director Ava DuVernay, who directed ESPN’s 2013 documentary ‘Venus Vyes, which tells of my fight for pay equity in tennis. I want to keep telling sports stories because this is my nature, but I don’t think you should always tell a sports story through the lens of competition only, leaving out the human one. So my dream would be to tell stories in which I reflect myself and with which I can also create a special bond, with the aim of reviving them in the hearts of children “. However, he is keen to clarify that he has no intention of going to the other side of the camera: “I will never be an actress and I would never want to be in front of a camera (laughs) “. Finally, to conclude a very nice curiosity regarding an object that can never be missing in his suitcase, with which he has traveled and continues to travel around the world: “I am a karaoke queen. I love to sing all day and I always carry a microphone with me when traveling“.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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