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The Scarlet & Black

Athletes Speak: Favorite Professional Athlete

Graphic by Shabana Gupta

The S&B’s Ray Goedeker reached out via email to various Grinnell College athletes with a simple question: Who is your favorite professional athlete in your sport? Here is what he found out:


Esmé Kayim-Yanko ’21 – Women’s Soccer

“I’d have to say that my favorite pro soccer player is Rose Lavelle on the U.S. Women’s National Team. The reason I like her so much is not only because she plays midfield like me, but it’s always exciting to see her handle the ball. Her ability to school opponents one-on-one and do so creatively with some insane moves means I’m always glued to the screen when she gets passed the ball. Honestly, I wished I could play like her!”


Esmé Kayim-Yanko sprinting down Springer Field. Photo contributed by Ted Schultz.
Rose Lavelle representing the United States Women’s National Team as she takes aim at the goal. Photo from Wikicommons.









Ryan Chang 21 – Baseball

“My favorite baseball player is Buster Posey. I’m from the Bay Area and his career really took off when I started to follow the sport. He’s been the face of the San Francisco Giants for a decade now and is the epitome of someone who leads by example. He’s carried the Giants to legendary heights such as winning three world series and an MVP award. He’s beloved in the Bay Area similar to the likes of Steph Curry and Frank Gore. The joy that he’s brought to Giants fans is something that I will never forget and is honestly why I fell in love with the sport. Each milestone in his illustrious career has a special place in my heart and that’s why he’s my favorite player.”


Ryan Chang right before releasing a pitch. Photo by Andrew Tucker.
Buster Posey mid-swing for the San Francisco Giants. Photo from Wikicommons.
















Olivia Woolam 21 – Women’s Basketball

“My favorite basketball player is probably Diana Taurasi. I loved watching her play growing up, I wore #3 all through middle school because it was her number, and I even wore hair gel to games to slick my bun back like her. I liked her because she was always loud, and she always celebrated her own accomplishments as well as the accomplishments of her teammates. People called her cocky and flashy, and she always called media out for the gender bias there. She also always facilitated on-court success and made all of her teammates better. I wanted, and still want to, be a leader like her.”


Olivia Woolam deciding her next move mid-game. Photo contributed by Ted Schultz.
Diana Taurasi pre-game for the Phoenix Mercury. Photo from Wikicommons.








Bowen Mince 22 – Men’s Tennis

“My favorite player in tennis would have to be Roger Federer. He has shaped the way I approach the game. His passion for the game is one of a kind and is a big part of my childhood.”


Bowen Mince fires back a shot. Photo contributed by Ted Schultz.
Roger Federer returns the ball. Photo from Wikicommons.









Julianna Roth 22 – Volleyball

“My favorite would be Kerri Walsh Jennings. She’s an incredible player and grew up pretty close to me! While I was growing up I looked up to her because she was local. I always loved how athletic and hardworking she was. She’s had tremendous success and was inspiring to a lot of young players in my area.”


Julianna Roth mid-bump. Photo contributed by Ted Schultz.
Kerri Walsh Jennings in the semi-finals of the 2016 Olympic Games. Photo from Wikicommons.
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