Venus Williams is a fighter. In her career she has battled the best. Through injuries and illness she has fought her way to the top as the number one ranked tennis player in the world. She has waged war on the establishment to win equal pay for female athletes. And she has fought and won top titles in the Olympics, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Yet, through the ebb and flow of her career, Williams has kept her sights set on success.
“With sports you start at the bottom, you go to the top, when you get to the top you can go back to the bottom. I’ve experienced it all more than once.”
In the face of such a constant barrage of challenges, the 33-year-old tennis superstar still manages to keep it all in perspective. When things get tough, she sticks to her mantra: to “just pretend that you were never down.”
Not such an easy thing to do without a strong support network to draw upon.
“You just have to surround yourself with positive people, that’s the first part,” she said. “People who are looking out for your best interest. And believe in yourself.”
Williams admits that this is not always an easy thing to do. But she encourages aspiring young athletes to follow their dreams.
“Sometimes it is taking a chance, because it is not always easy to believe in yourself, but take that chance and do it.”
Williams knows about taking chances. She is just as accomplished outside the world of sports, as a designer for the clothing line Eleven – because ‘eleven is better than ten.’
“Our motto is ‘look good, play well,’” says Williams, “my main goal is to just help people live health lifestyles.”
As the next chapter of her life unfolds, there is still plenty of fight left in Venus Williams. Even as she and her sister get set to “rip it in Rio” for the 2016 Summer Games, Williams is looking forward to how she can give back. “I have been given so much, I’ve had so much, I’ve had so many opportunities.”
With all of the opportunities, and through every battleground, from top athletic titles to a successful fashion line to charitable work, Venus Williams has come out on top.