As I mentioned recently, Coca-Cola has selected eight of these incredible athletes to make up the The Coca-Cola 8-pack of athletes. Not only can we cheer them on as they compete in London, but these talented folks are all highlighted on My Coke Rewards — in an exciting, interactive experience that will help visitors learn about each athlete and use My Coke Rewards points to redeem exclusive U.S. Olympics and Coca-Cola merchandise.
One featured athlete is the talented tennis star, John Isner.
After taking up tennis at age 9, John began his professional career in 2007 and has since been recognized as one of the stars of American tennis. As well as his obvious skill at the sport and his years of hard work, John has found much of his inspiration from one important source: his mother.
After a shocking colon cancer diagnosis during John's freshman year of college, his mom received top quality care and has since beaten the disease. John was so moved by the doctors and the care that his mom received from the UNC Lineberger Hospital in Chapel Hill, that every November he now hosts a charity event to raise proceeds to go to the hospital and their research. What a great way to give back... and be an amazing son!
I have no doubt that John's mom will be cheering him on the loudest when he competes in London, something that he has worked hard to achieve. Along with two of his fellow USA teammates, John spoke briefly about what it means to him to get to attend the Olympics this year:
To find out even more about him, I was able to send over a handful of questions to John and have him personally respond!
Who do you most admire?
I most admire my mom. Raising 3 boys isn't easy and what she has gone through with her bout with cancer is inspiring.
What blogs do you read (if any)?
I like to read pretty much any sports-related blog. Nothing too specific but I like to look for articles on my favorite teams (Panthers, Hurricanes, UGA athletics, etc).
When did you first realize your love for tennis?
I really liked playing all sports growing up, but the two that stood out for me were tennis and basketball. I am still a sports fanatic and enjoy playing everything when I can. I would say I was 13 or 14 when I realized tennis is what I should be focusing on.
What do you do in your spare time (aside from tennis)?
I love to cook and hang out with my dog, Magill, when I have some down time. Watching ESPN, just lounging, I am a pretty relaxed guy off the court.
If you could have athletic talent in another sport, what would it be?
Maybe if I was a little shorter I could be a great NFL wideout. I have good hands and like to play football. My legs would be a target though for those NFL safeties!
Who is the first person you called when you found out you were going to the Olympics?
Well, I think I called my mom first. I mean, I sort of knew that I would be going because its based on rankings in tennis. It is much easier to predict who is going than some of the other sports where there are competitions which count for qualifying.
Who will be cheering you on in London?
My girlfriend and her family will be supporting me in London and, of course, my Coca-Cola family will be there as well to cheer me on. I am excited as it is always nice to have a good support system around a big tournaments.
What other sports are you planning on following/watching while in London?
I would love to catch some action of my fellow Coca-Cola 8-pack members, especially women's soccer with Alex Morgan and diving with David Boudia. Hopefully they can come support me at one of my tennis matches.
As the London 2012 Olympic Games are getting underway, I'm going to be sure to tune in to cheer John on as he makes his Olympic debut. He is scheduled to play in men's singles and men's doubles (with Andy Roddick) matches on Saturday, July 28, so don't miss the glory and competition of tennis.
As an added bonus, while you're cheering for your favorite athletes, you can also head over to My Coke Rewards and enter for your chance to instantly win amazing Coca-Cola Olympic Games prizes.
Who wouldn't like an Athlete Prize Pack containing a Coca-Cola-branded gym bag, towel, t-shirt, soccer ball, yoga mat, a $50 Visa gift card and a framed autograph card shadow-box with Coca-Cola pin?
Or maybe a coupon valid for a 12-pack of Coca-Cola products? How about a music download or a $50 Visa gift card? Best of all, when you play you will also be entered for a chance to win a VIP Trip for four to John Isner's Charity event in North Carolina including air transportation, hotel accommodations, a meet a greet with John himself, tickets to a tennis exhibition and $500 spending money! Sign me up!
It's time to get into the spirit and celebrate all that is incredible and inspiring about the world coming together to participate in the Olympic Games. Won't you grab a Coke and join me?
But first, I want to know. Who inspires YOU?
I'm working with Coca-Cola as an 8-Pack Ambassador. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of The Coca-Cola Company.