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2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes? Day Twelve — Lisa Raymond

by Stuart Wilber on July 29, 2012

in 2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes?,News,Sports,Stuart Wilber

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This is the twelfth in a series of articles profiling known out and proud Olympic athletes who are openly LGBT. The New Civil Rights Movement will publish one article each day as we move into the London 2012 Olympics.

After playing both singles (substituting for Jennifer Capriati) and doubles (Martina Navratilova) in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Lisa Raymond, partnering with Liezel Huber in the doubles event, will try for her first Olympic Medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. At 38, Raymond is the oldest player in tennis history to be ranked No. 1. Being No. 1 is nothing new for America’s Lisa Raymond. She’s been at the top of the Women’s Tennis Association(WTA) doubles rankings five times in her career.

“It’s definitely a lot more special this time than ever before,” Raymond said in a WTA news report last month. “I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my career, and I found the right partner too.”

Born in 1973 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Lisa has won Seven Grand Slam doubles titles: three women’s and four mixed.

Raymond was not chosen for the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, despite being the world’s No.1-ranked doubles player at the time. “That was probably the biggest disappointment of my career, to be honest,” Raymond said. “I think a lot of people felt I should have been on the team. But now I’ve got another chance, and I’m going to make the best of it.”

In the fall of 2003 she asked Martina Navratilova to form a doubles partnership to make a run at the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, convincing the 47-year-old Navratilova, who hadn’t planned to play in 2004, to continue competing.

“For me the one thing I’m missing in my career is a medal from the Olympics,” Raymond said while playing in a warm-up tournament in California last week. “I’ve won slams, I’ve gotten the rankings, I’ve won the tournaments, but to be on that podium that’s something I’ve never done, I’ve never achieved. It would probably be the greatest moment of my tennis career,” NBC reports:

“If you would have asked me years ago if I would still be playing tennis at this age I probably would have laughed at you. There were a couple years where I kind of lost my way a little bit both on and off the court… I wasn’t focused on my career and my tennis and I was kind of at a crossroads if I would have even kept playing.”

“She has worked so hard to be back at the top and I can’t even imagine doing that at 38,” said Fed Cup   captain Mary Joe Fernandez. “She and Liezel make a great team and will be going for the gold at the Olympics.”

“One of our biggest assets is our experience,” said Lisa. ” I think every time we step on the court together we use that against, especially, younger teams or teams that have just formed. We rely on that when we get into tough situations.”

You can follow Lisa Raymond on Twitter.

Follow our series: 2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes? as we profile all the out LGBT athletes playing in the London 2012 Olympic games.


 

Stuart Wilber. Photo by Mathew Ryan Williams

 

Stuart Wilber believes that living life openly as a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Allied person is the most powerful kind of activism. Shortly after meeting his partner in Chicago in 1977, he opened a gallery named In a Plain Brown Wrapper, where he exhibited cutting edge work by leading artists; art that dealt with sexuality and gender identification. In the late 1980’s when they moved to San Clemente, CA in Orange County, life as an openly gay couple became a political act. They moved to Seattle 16 years ago and married in Canada a few weeks after British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage. Although legally married in some countries, they are only considered domestic partners in Washington State. Equality continues to elude him.

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