In this modern society, exponential social media followings have paved the way for a new avenue of celebrity news.
Power couples have risen to prominence and often, one half, or sometimes both, are sporting stars.
Here, we look at 10 double acts – with the stipulation being that at least one of them needs to be a current sportsperson – who make up a power couple.
VIRAT KOHLI AND ANUSHKA SHARMA
The Indian cricket idol started dating the famous Bollywood star back in 2013 – with the couple earning the celebrity nickname “Virushka”. They both tried to shy away from the media spotlight and married in private in December last year, choosing a quaint venue away from the cameras in Finocchieto, Tuscany in southern Italy.
SHOAIB MALIK AND SANIA MIRZA
Their marriage has brought the fierce Pakistan-India rivalry closer together. Malik, a specialist all-rounder for Pakistan, tied the knot with the Indian tennis ace in April 2010. The two had ceremonies in both Hyderabad and Lahore. Not surprisingly, the couple are regularly in the public eye.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI AND DAVID LEE
The recently-crowned Australian Open champion got engaged to the former Golden State Warriors NBA star in November last year, having revealed they were going out earlier in 2017. The Dane was previously engaged to four-time golf Major winner Rory McIlroy in 2013.
SERENA WILLIAMS AND ALEXIS OHANIAN
The 23-time Grand Slam winner married the Reddit co-founder in November 2017 at a glitzy bash in New Orleans, with guests including Beyonce, Anna Wintour, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Two months prior, the couple had their first child, a girl called Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
ELINA SVITOLINA AND REECE TOPLEY
The World No3 WTA player and England Cricket fast bowler met after a chance gym session in London but have to deal with long-distance due to the gruelling schedules of their respective sports. Svitolina admitted she knew nothing about Topley’s profession previously but his 6 ft 7 frame stood out. One of the emerging twosomes.
CHRISTIAN HORNER AND GERI HALLIWELL
The Red Bull Racing Team Principal, who started his career as a racing driver, married the former Spice Girl in November 2016 after being engaged two years prior. They are often spotted at Formula One grids together around the world.
TOM BRADY AND GISELE BUNDCHEN
One of sport’s most famous men, the NFL legend met the well-known Brazilian supermodel on a blind date in December 2006. They married in California three years later and a few months after that had their first child. In 2012, they announced news that a new daughter was born.
GERARD PIQUE AND SHAKIRA
One of the most high-profile double acts around, the Barcelona defender has been with the famed Colombian singer since 2011. Interestingly, they share the same birthday – February 2 – but are 10 years apart in age with Pique being the younger at 31. They also have two children.
ANA IVANOVIC AND BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER
The former French Open champion retired from tennis in late 2016, and six months earlier, tied the knot with the ex-Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Germany legend in Venice. At 33, the midfielder is still going strong and currently playing for Chicago Fire.
JUSTIN VERLANDER AND KATE UPTON
The Houston Astros pitcher and 2017 World Series champion got engaged to the Hollywood model-turned-actress in 2016 following intense media speculation and they then walked the aisle a year later in Tuscany, Italy.
Guests of TAG Heuer gathered at the Westin Mina Seyahi to honour the UAE’s growing cycling community, following a month of success with the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour.
The UAE has dedicated cycling tracks, kept in pristine condition, allowing riders to reach their full potential. The Al Qudra cycling track is purposefully built only for riders, and at more than 150km long, it offers riders a place like no other to get on their bike.
And at this year’s Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour events, fans were able to get up close and personal with the professional riders, and their equipment in the villages, where the bikes were on show and fans learned more about the sport.
TAG Heuer’s celebration evening showcased a documentary following ‘the Zebras’, a group of riders assembled in the UAE. Anne-Claire Richomme, TAG Heuer Middle East Marketing Manager, said, “The reason we chose the Zebras is because they are a true representation of the cycling community in the UAE. The Zebras’ appetite for cycling doesn’t end with their group rides, as they also participate in local and international amateur races throughout the year.”
The event was also a chance for the Swiss watchmaker to showcase their new Connected Modular 45 timepiece, a digital watch combining Swiss luxury watchmaking and Silicon Valley Technology creating his and hers smartwatches.
The range is suitable for sport by being both durable and waterproof, with interchangeable straps so the same timepiece can also be worn with a suit and tie. Google and Intel collaborated in the engineering of the watch to allow users to connect their smartphone via Bluetooth to listen to music while exercising, as well as reading emails and messages from the watch-face.
The interface is also fully customizable – you can change the hands to match the straps, or change the dials, which appear on screen. Options available range from a daily step-counter to current exchange rates and even boarding passes.
There are 11 modules available to choose from, which can each be changed to fit a choice of ceramic, titanium, leather or rubber straps.
Richomme added: “TAG Heuer has been involved with cycling since 1946 and in 1985 the brand ventured into the world of professional cycling with the Heuer Skil SEM team. From 1986 to 1990 the brand involvement continued with team KAS TAG Heuer and the American 7-Eleven cycling team.
“Therefore tonight was a great opportunity to showcase our involvement and dedication to the sport in the region at both professional and amateur level. It was also a great chance to close the cycling season after the success of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tours.”
For the first time in Asia and the Middle East, the UAE is preparing to host the World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship which will take place this weekend.
To be held from March 2-4 at the Mubadala Arena, Abu Dhabi, the event will see more than 700 players from 40 countries.
The World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship is one of the key international events on the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation’s calendar. The competition is dominated by two categories: the Under-18’s and U-21’s with 51 players making up the UAE squad.
Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, president of the Jiu Jitsu International Federation, said: “This is one of the most important world sport championships. The future of any sport relies on its youth.
“Therefore, the JJIF values this Championship for its active role in raising awareness about the importance of Jiu-Jitsu and fostering its position on the international sports arena.
“The UAE’s hosting of this Championship is testament to its leading position and international capabilities within Jiu-Jitsu ability to organise local and international championships. We are confident in the UAE’s capacities to host this event in accordance with the highest global regulatory levels and standards, despite the large numbers of participants expected to arrive in such a short period of time.”
Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, Austria, Vietnam, Turkmenistan, Iran, Ukraine, Hungary, Sweden, Morocco, Spain and Russia are among the nations that will be competing.
Abdulmunem Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, president of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union and senior vice president of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, declared the nation is looking forward to welcoming Asia’s best.
He said: “Hosting this event in Abu Dhabi crowns a long journey of hard work and dedication, and it coincides with the Year of Zayed, which represents a great opportunity for the UAE to adhere to the noble values instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan.
“The World Youth Championship will display all the hard work undertaken by the UAEJJF and its strategic partners in cooperation with the JJIF, to strengthen the country’s status as a global hub for hosting world sporting events.”
He added: “The hosting of this Championship in the UAE is a new breakthrough for the global sport, and is a proof of our position in supporting and enhancing the presence of this sport amongst the next generation.”
For Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAEJJF, and secretary-general of the Asian and International Federations, he believes the championship being held in Abu Dhabi is proof that the sport is growing.
“The World Youth Championship is the newest international addition on Abu Dhabi’s calendar of Jiu-Jitsu events,” he said.