Bartoli Meets Usain Bolt & Yohan Blake
Published February 18, 2014 12:14
MONTEGO BAY & KINGSTON, Jamaica - Since retiring last summer, Marion Bartoli has kept very busy indeed. One of the biggest things keeping her busy is her new brand, Marion B, which includes products like Wings - the shoe accessory you may have seen worn by many of the WTA players lately.
But Bartoli took a quick break recently - and at the same time met two of the quickest men alive.
"A friend took me on a small break," Bartoli said. "We went to discover Jamaica and to meet Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake - they both expressed the desire to meet me, which is obviously a massive honor!"
Bolt is the world record holder for the 100 meters (9.58 seconds) and 200 meters (19.19 seconds). And Blake isn't far behind - he is tied for second-fastest time ever in the 100 meters with Tyson Gay (9.69 seconds) and has the standalone second-fastest time ever in the 200 meters (19.26 seconds).
"It was beyond exciting to meet them," Bartoli said. "To meet a sport legend like Usain Bolt, I was like a kid, I even played some tennis balls with him - I was trying so hard, because it was hard to focus on the ball! And Yohan is so sweet as a person, he's amazing, and he's obviously a big champion too.
"I can't wait to see them both again in a race - that's going to be amazing."
But Bartoli is always thinking about her work, too - and those who will benefit from it.
"I've been very busy building my brand - it's a lot of work, but it's so exciting at the same time," the Frenchwoman described. "I feel like I'm starting from zero, like I am a baby in tennis and need to learn so much - but I really have the desire, and the fire is inside me, just like it always was in tennis.
"The difference this time is that I'm using this to help others through charity - every time someone buys one of my products, they're supporting a great cause because some of the money goes to charity."
Bartoli brought some of her products to Jamaica - and her new friends got a taste of it all.
"So far we are still building everything, but Usain loved the 'lights' I made him - that will be the Lightista collection. And Yohan also appreciated his 'wings' - he became a Wingista in a way!"
And where is the reigning Wimbledon champion off to next?
"Everywhere my work, charity and tennis commentary takes me!"