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Bryan Parris: Maria Sharapova - the Ice Queen

The press has called Maria Sharapova "The Ice Queen". An obvious reference to her being born in Siberia... Nicknames are usually permanent in sports. Now Miss Sharapova may always be called The Ice Queen. In the West not being nervous or anxious when you are under pressure is called being cool under pressure, or being 'like ice'. When asked if she was nervous before her finals match with Serena Williams she said, "I'm only 17 how can I be nervous?" Her nickname may stick because of her demeanor and how cool she apprears to be under pressure, in addition to the fact that she was born in one of the coldest places on earth.

She still claims her Russian nationality, and her father brought her to the state of Florida in the United States at a young age so she could develop her skills. Her family took great risks to come here to live and help her acheive her full potential as an athlete, and today Russia has claimed her as a Russian success in the press, but her life is also a testament to the possibilities of achieving success in America, and the equanimity of American society. She was given an equal opportunity for success despite her nationality or political point of view. Her intellect, talent, and ability were really the only things that mattered here. Above all, Americans love and embrace a winner. In other countries, besides the United States, a person born in a foreign country might not have been given an equal opportunity to become a success. Despite our failings, this is one of the good things about freedom, democracy, and living under the rule of law.

Americans instinctively realize all of this so we take some credit for the success of Maria Sharapova. For that reason the products she personally endorses are likely to be purchased by millions of Americans for years to come. She is Russian by birth, but I think Americans identify with her story and think of her as more American than Russian. Predictions have already been made comparing her promotional potential to icons like Michael Jordan and others, with predictions of more than $100 million in income from product endorsements alone over the next ten years. Part of this is due in part to ber obvious physical beauty, and American men rarely show any prejudice as to politics or nationality when it comes to beautiful women; Our great weakness for blondes with nice legs is well known and often exploited. It's a reason men will take a keen interest in her tennis, even though they may claim it is only because she plays well.

I like to read the articles in Pravda, but many of them are a little too anti-American in their tone. The cold war is over; We are no longer your adversary. We should celebrate the things we have in common. One of them is Maria Sharapova. In either country her colors are the same. Red, white, and blue....

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