“Ask Us to Visualize”: Venus Reveals How Father Gave Williams Sisters the Olympic Dream

Published 03/13/2021, 8:27 AM EST
Serena Williams (R) of the USA celebrates with her father Richard Williams and sister Venus Williams after her Ladies’ Singles final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Veteran tennis champion Venus Williams has revealed how her father Richard taught her and younger sister Serena to fall in love with the Olympics.

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In a message tagged with her latest Instagram post, the seven-time Grand Slam champion said her father would make the superstar siblings watch documentary films on some of America’s biggest sporting heroes scripting glorious chapters in the Summer Games.

Venus Williams says her father made her and sister watch docu films of Olympics legends

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The 40-year-old shared images of the Williams sisters running with Olympic torches and relieved how their father made them realize what it meant to play for the flag.

“He would have us watch Olympic documentary films of track and field stars like Jackie Joyner-Kersee or diving legend Greg Louganis so we could understand what it meant to be tough and to find courage and triumph through adversity,” the elder Williams wrote.

The siblings have a combined tally of four Olympic golds – in singles and doubles – to their credit. Venus achieved the ‘double” – singles and doubles golds at the same event – in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and Serena repeated the feat in 2012.

Venus says her father used to play the sisters Whitney Houston’s theme track from the 1988 Olympics

Venus said her father would play ‘One Moment in Time’, late soul legend Whitney Houston’s cult theme track from the 1988 Summer Olympics, over and over again, giving them the dream of following in the footsteps of the Games’ legends.

“He would ask us to visualize our one moment in time as she (Houston) sang the lyrics,” the elder Williams said, adding that her father had “true love” for the Olympics.

Serena Williams of The United States is congratulated by her sister and opponant Venus Williams of The United States following their ladies singles third round match on Day Five of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It was their father’s undying obsession to see his daughters play the Olympics that left a deep impression on the siblings, Venus recalled.

The Williams sisters also combined to form one of the best doubles pairs in the history of women’s tennis, winning a total of 14 Grand Slams.

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Venus overwhelmed Russian Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-4 in the gold medal match in the Sydney Games and paired up with Serena a day later to beat the Dutch pair of Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans 6-1, 6-1 and clinch the doubles gold.

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While the elder Williams has never managed to lift the Australian Open title despite several attempts, that one summer in 2000 and what it brought her will remain an abiding memory.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

991 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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