Serena Williams may be making headlines galore for her "diva behavior" at this year's U.S. Open, but First Lady Michelle Obama was the one who really stole the show this weekend. She attended the event and played doubles against seven-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe and later, Williams herself, with the First Lady and the tennis star partnering with a child on a smaller court. Michelle clocked a 55-mph serve! Whoa, nice! She also joined the kids in a tennis video game and table tennis at an indoor facility designed to get youngsters excited about tennis. Then, the First Lady rounded out her visit with some hula-hooping. Fun!
The appearance was part of her "Let's Move!" campaign to fight childhood obesity. Mrs. Obama praised the U.S. Tennis Association for building kid-sized courts all around the country, noting that she couldn't get into tennis until after law school because the South Side of Chicago where she grew up had very few courts to play on.
And even though the First Lady is into the sport, she wasn't boasting about her abilities on the court. In fact, it was rather refreshing -- especially in the midst of such a heated competition -- how she discussed what the sport is really about.
I'm not really good or anything like that. That's the beauty of tennis. You don't have to be good to enjoy it. I love the game, and my skills are very questionable.
Ha! Gotta love the modesty/self-deprecation, when I'm sure her skills aren't that questionable. But what she didn't say exactly but is totally communicating -- to kids and adults -- is that you don't have to be The BEST or The WINNER to enjoy being athletic, getting out there, just enjoying the sport for what it is.
I think all too often, people are intimidated by the competitive nature of sports. If you're no "good," then it's no fun. But that's definitely not the case -- or it shouldn't be! And that's what the First Lady is really promoting here. I love it, and it's exactly the message the government and the U.S. Tennis Association need to be sending.
Do you agree with the First Lady's message that you don't have to be good at a sport to enjoy it?
Image via Mike Stobe/Getty