If great romances usually begin with having something in common, then it shouldn't be all that surprising that many married couples share the same occupation. In fact, we see it all the time: actors marrying actors, lawyers marrying lawyers, teachers marrying teachers, and so on. So athletes marrying athletes -- not really that surprising. But it's still news when it's two sports superstars who decide to tie the knot.
There are several things that make the marriage of two greats in their respective sports, sometimes even the same sport, so intriguing. First, there's the children. With such exceptional sports genes being brought together, it's hard to imagine that the resulting children won't be sports legends-in-the-making. Second, there's the implied rivalry between the spouses. Since both are presumed to be highly competitive, it's natural to wonder about whether the couple ever gets into spats about who's the bigger sports superstar. And lastly, there's the sports money. With both parties in the marriage bringing their hefty finances to the table, how much would the sports couple be worth together?
As this list proves, sports couples are often worth a whole lot. Here are ten of the richest married couples in the world of sports:
10 Misty May and Matt Treanor / Couple's Net Worth: $9 Million
Matt Treanor is a baseball standout, having led NL catchers in caught-stealing percentage with 47.1% in 2006. However, his sports accomplishments pale in comparison to those of his wife, Misty May. The now-retired beach volleyball player is a tough act to follow as she is considered the best-ever with her 112 individual championship wins in domestic and international competitions, as well as her three World Championship gold medals (2003, 2005, 2007) and three Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012).
The two met in 2003 at a sports therapy center in California when Matt was rehabbing a knee injury. At that time, Matt didn't even know who Misty was, but when he saw her, he knew he wanted to ask her out. Matt eventually got his way, and after dating for seven months, the two wed in November of 2004. The couple is currently expecting their firstborn.
9 Nadia Comăneci and Bart Conner / Couple's Net Worth: $10.5 Million
At the American Cup International gymnastics meet in New York City, Bart Conner, an American, and Nadia Comăneci, a Romanian, both won the championships. Come picture-taking time, the two were asked to pose side by side with their silver cups. Naughtily, a photographer asked Bart to lean down and give the then fourteen-year-old Nadia a kiss, which he did. This picture then ran in the paper the next day:
Fourteen years later, Comăneci would escape from communist Romania, allowing Bart to meet Nadia again. The two finally began dating when Nadia took a room in Bart's home in Oklahoma. In 1996, the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect ten in an Olympic gymnastic event (1980) and the 1984 men's parallel bars gold medalist married in Romania. They had a son in 2006.
Today, the couple owns the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, the Perfect 10 Production Company, and several sports equipment shops. They are also heavily involved in charity work.
8 Cammi Granato and Ray Ferraro / Couple's Net Worth: $11 Million
When Cammi Granato was unexpectedly cut from the US National Women's Ice Hockey team before the 2006 Olympics in Italy, the decision was widely criticized. Cammi had played an instrumental role in both the 1998 gold-medal-winning performance in 1998 and the silver-winning effort in 2002. The decision to leave Granato out eventually proved costly as the team was upset by Sweden in the semifinals of the 2006 Games, the first time the United States had lost internationally to a team other than Canada. At the forefront of the criticism after the performance was husband Ray Ferraro. In fact, his slamming of coach Ben Smith's failure to bring the best US players to the games were broadcast during the intermission of a men's game.
But Ray wasn't simply an angry husband. He was, himself, a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player who had played in the National Hockey League from 1984 to 2002. In fact, his nickname as a player was "Big Ball of Hate". To wife Cammi, however, Ray is nothing but a "Big Ball of Love". The couple have two sons together.
Granato has since been inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
7 Heather Mitts and A.J. Feeley / Couple's Net Worth: $12 Million
Then US Women's National Football Team member Heather Mitts was hanging out with her team when a teammate's boyfriend showed up with A.J. Feeley. Heather wasn't planning on staying longer, but that quickly changed when she saw A.J.. The two eventually had a relationship, and the press was quick to pounce on the affair between the two superstars. Mitts, aside from being a three-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012), was voted the 2001 sexiest player in the WUSA and the 2004 ESPN Hottest Female Athlete. Feeley, meanwhile, was an American football quarterback in the NFL.
The public's attention didn't help the couple as the two went through an on-off dating phase. Everything seems to have ended well, however. In 2010, the two were married, and in October of 2013, Heather announced that the couple was expecting their first child.
6 Candace Parker and Shelden Williams / Couple's Net Worth: $14 Million
Shelden Williams is a former NBA star who currently plays for Tianjin Ronggang in China. Wife Candace Parker, on the other hand, has been playing with the Los Angeles Sparks since 2008. In fact, she was named WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2008 and 2013 and has won two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012). Shelden, though, has never been insecure about his wife's sterling accomplishments and is actually Candace's biggest fan.
His fanaticism was on full display in October of 2012 when Williams blew up the Twitter world with a series of posts about the WNBA conference finals matchup between the LA Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx. Shelden's rants began after Candace didn't get to touch the ball in that last play of a losing effort despite her 33-point, 15-rebound, and 4-block output.
Shelden's tweeting actually started out quite calmly:
And then he got angrier:
Well, no one can say Shelden doesn't care about the things that are important to his wife.
5 Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton / Couple's Net Worth: $25 Million
Gabrielle Reece is a retired American professional beach volleyball player who has won numerous titles, including the first-ever Beach Volleyball World Championships in 1993. Her husband, Laird Hamilton, is an American big-wave surfer who, in 2000, recorded the heaviest wave ever ridden successfully. In fact, historians dub Hamilton as the "all-time best-of-the-best" among all big-wave surfers. Both Gabrielle and Laird are also big-time sports models.
Having been married for 16 years now, the couple has often been asked about the secret to their union's strength. In April of 2013, Gabrielle roused controversy when she wrote in her memoir "My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper" that "to be truly feminine means being soft, receptive, and -- look out, here it comes -- submissive." That didn't go too well with some feminists. The approach seems to have worked for the couple, however, as Gabrielle, Laird, and their two children are a very happy family.
4 Laila Ali and Curtis Conway / Couple's Net Worth: $28 Million
Undefeated but now retired multi-titlist boxer Laila Ali met former AFL wide receiver Curtis Conway in 2005 when Curtis hosted a small get together, which Ali attended with a friend. After a long dating period, they married in July of 2007. Not surprisingly, one of the questions often asked of Conway is whether or not his boxer wife dominates the marriage.
"She's a sweetie pie," he says of the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
Today, they have two children together, Laila playing the role of stepmother to Conway's three other kids.
3 Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican / Couple's Net Worth: $28.5 Million
The paths of Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican crossed at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Kristi was competing in the women's figure skating event, while Bret was part of the USA Hockey Team. Only Yamaguchi scored an Olympic gold, but Hedican also scored a prize of his own: he met his future wife.
It wasn't until 1995, however, when the two attended the opening of a hockey arena in Vancouver, that the two began dating. By Christmas Eve of 1998, Bret proposed to Kristi, and the two married in July of 2000. They have since had two girls, who seem to have proven lucky for the couple. Hedican won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Yamaguchi, meanwhile, was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2005.
2 Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra / Couple's Net Worth: $35 Million
In 2003, the two were wed, and they had twin girls in 2007. They also had a son in 2012.
1 Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi / Couple's Net Worth: $205 Million
When the achievements of these two married tennis greats are combined, the resulting numbers are nothing short of stunning. Both Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi are among the very few players who have won the career Golden Slam, meaning they've won each of the Grand Slam events and an Olympic gold medal at least once. In fact, Steffi is the only player, male or female, to have achieved the Calendar Year Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in 1998. With such achievements, it is no wonder that the two are the richest married couple in sports today.
The couple has, however, decided to lead their married lives as quietly as possible. In fact, they have never pressured their children, Jaden (12) and Elle (10), to play tennis or any sport for that matter. Jaden, however, is reportedly very interested in baseball and golf.
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