Martina Navratilova has won 59 Grand Slam tennis titles and been named “Tour Player of the Year” by the Women’s Tennis Association, “Female Athlete of the Year” by the Associated Press, and one of the “Top 40 Athletes of All Time” by Sports Illustrated.
She’s won a battle against breast cancer, is a long-time, outspoken advocate for gay and lesbian rights, danced her heart out on Dancing with the Stars, has co-written six books, and is currently the Fitness Ambassador for AARP.
In the latter role, Martina spoke in Aspen with Marilyn Milloy, Deputy Editor of AARP Magazine, followed by a question and answer session with Martina.
On getting older
All my life I always wanted to be the youngest – the youngest to win Wimbledon, the youngest to do something. Turns out I was the oldest to have won a Grand Slam title at 49. Now I am a Fitness Ambassador for AARP which was kind of cool because you know while I was still playing in my 40’s, I was like the oldest person there. The only people I could hang out with were the trainers who were about my age or younger. I was older than the players mothers ok, so I was old.”
On being an Ambassador for AARP
Of course AARP found me as soon as I turned 50. About a month after I won the US Open, I go that letter in the mail and I’ve been an Ambassador for them pretty much since then and it’s been a great collaboration. I really enjoy working with AARP. But, most of all, I really like working with people that want to make the most out of their life, whatever age they might be.”
On turning 50
At 40, 50 seemed like a long way away. But, when I did turn 50 it didn’t panic me at all because I’d been well past the retirement age or expiration date for an athlete for 20 years at that point. So, it was a piece of cake and I said, hey look at me, I’m 50 and I’m still kicking butt.”
On her achilles heal, as far as eating healthy
On keeping physically fit after 50
I don’t like getting in the gym. I like to do things outside. The more people can do sports outside and do them with a friend, the more likely they are to do them because they’re having a good time. And, also, when you have a schedule with a friend, you are much more likely to do it.”
On Dancing with the Stars
I’ll tell you that’s a great sport. Those guys are seriously good athletes. And I loved the training. I didn’t like the hoopla, and the hair and makeup I could do without, but the training was fantastic.”
On skiing Aspen Mountain
You see that mountain over there (pointing to Aspen Mountain), I’ve skied down everything you see. I still ski, absolutely. I’ve skied the Franklin Dump, Aztec, the Bowl, I’ve skied it all.”
On playing ice hockey
I play ice hockey for the Aspen Mother Puckers. The ice rink is just a couple of blocks from here. Our logo is hot pink lips, as in puckers.”
On getting high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) when climbing Kilimanjaro
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On what’s on her bucket list
That’s a great question. I still haven’t been to Alaska. I really, really want to see the blue whale one day and for that you pretty much have to go down to Antarctica. And, Macchu Picchu, I haven’t done that yet. And, the Galapagos.”
On what she’s already scratched off
I’ve been to Kenya and I want to go back there. I love it there. Thailand was on my bucket list. I wanted to straddle the equator growing up, and I did that. Heli-skiing, I’ve done that and I want to do that again.”