Excerpt: Venus Williams' 'Come to Win'

Yet more than learning how to be competitive early on, sports can give girls healthy attitudes about their bodies, attitudes that if nourished can last a lifetime. Soledad O'Brien expresses it best: "One of the reasons I wanted my kids to play sports is I just love the idea of thinking of your body as something positive as opposed to thinking, 'I'm fat.' . . . I want my girls to feel like they're strong. To think, 'I can do a backflip. I can stand on my hands. I can jump a fence with my pony. I can run faster than somebody.' To think of your body in those terms for girls is a really empowering thing." I'll take that. We have had some proud moments at V Starr, which designed the set for the Tavis Smiley Show on the PBS network, and the Olympic athletes' apartments used by the city of New York in its proposal to host the 2012 Olympic Games. When I designed my first large residential interior, I can't say the client was the easiest to work with. I had to convince them that it would look good. And when the work was completed and they were happy, it was more than satisfying for me not only because I delivered but because I knew then that I was able to trust my team. On the final walk-through, I nodded to myself and thought, "Yeah, this is my work." That's how I feel about this book, which is a labor of love, taking what so many of us love—sports—and seeing how we can utilize its benefits in other ways.

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