There is something about the world of athletes that fascinates us all. Every aspect of athletes lives, not only their on field antics, but everything they do on their field as well.
Some Twitter accounts for example, would be dedicated an account for the sole reason to follow for example, a small element of a sports person life, whether it is their hair or even their pets! One of my favorite accounts to follow is to follow the lives of couples in sport – because they are both interesting and unusual sometimes!
One of the biggest things you quickly notice if you go to a sports game and look to the stands where the partner of the sports person is sitting is sometimes the big age gap between them! Some couples have an age gap of 20 or even 30 years!
It’s interesting to note that it cuts across all sports – so not only in the NBA but in the NFL and even soccer as well. It is a bemusing thing to fuss about – but leaves us in awe at the beauty of the relationship between couples. What do couples in sports talk about when there is an age gap of 20 years between them? Or how are they looked at when they are out in public? We’ve listed sports couples who are madly in love and don’t see age as a factor. Take a look:
15 Robert Kraft (76) and Ricki Noel Lander (38)
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, lost his wife of 48 years, Myra in 2011 to ovarian cancer. When Myra passed, the players of the New England Patriots team dedicated their 2011 football season to the memory of Kraft’s wife. In 2012, Kraft took on a girlfriend which to the surprise of many is 38 years his junior. Kraft who is currently 76 years old, spends most of his time with girlfriend, Ricki Noel Lander, a 38 year old dancer and actress.
But wait, the plot thickens, reports revealed that Lander gave birth in the beginning of March this year. According to Page Six of the NY Times, a spokesman told them:
“Last fall, Ricki Noel Lander became the proud mother of a beautiful, healthy baby. While Robert Kraft is not the biological father, he is thrilled with Ricki’s blessing of having a healthy child. With respect to her family’s privacy, we will not be commenting any further.”
It certainly is a peculiar story, but it doesn't seem to bother Kraft. Despite not being the biological father of the baby, Kraft is thrilled for Lander. More so, it seems that the couple are still together, against all odds.
14 Pele (77) and Marcia Aoki (45)
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to us all as Pele, is a retired Brazilian footballer who played as a forward. Pele is no stranger to the married life, having been married twice before taking on his third and current wife in 2016, Marcia Aoki. Pele has impressed many with his reputation of being one of the best football players of all time. However, people seem to be even more impressed with the fact that he has managed to marry a woman that is a staggering 32 years younger than he is.
The former football star is now aged 77 with his youthful spouse aged at 45.
The couple shared a beautiful wedding in Sao Paulo’s Guaruja, which is where Marcia is originally from. Believe it or not but the former football star and business women had met way back in the 1980’s at a party but only reconnected in 2010.
13 Steve Nash (44) and Lilla Frederick (28)
Who could forget former professional basketball player Steve Nash? Nash’s first marriage with Alejandra Amarilla ended in 2011. The two of them share two children together. There are all sorts of rumors as to why the couple split up so soon after the birth of one of their children, but in any event, Nash still maintains a relationship with his children. However, his terminated marriage did not discourage the former basketball player from giving love another chance. In saying so, in March 2016 Nash got on his knee once more, in quite a romantic setting, and proposed to Lilla Frederick.
The two got engaged in Majorca, Spain on vacation and soon after in September, they got married.
Nash married the former volleyball player in Manhattan Beach. Despite their glaring 16 year age gap, in the following year the two welcomed their first son, Luca, to the world. The two have reported that they love working out together and feed off of each other’s energy. More so, they love spending family time on the beach, where Lilla shows off her volleyball skills. With Nash retired from basketball, it'll be a lot easier to manage fatherhood without having to play 82 basketball games a year.
12 Michael Jordan (55) and Yvette Prieto (39)
Another favourite former professional basketball player, Michael Jordan, managed to score a slam dunk with his wife Yvette Prieto. After his expensive $150 million divorce from former wife Juanita Vanoy went through in 2006, we were sure that the basketball legend was done with love. That was most certainly not the case though as Jordan got married to his Cuban model wife in 2013.
Having had a wife that was three years older than him, it must have been an adjustment to now have a wife 16 years his junior.
The two met in 2008 and turned all of Jordan’s words, of swearing off committed relationships, upside down. Prieto and Jordan got married in Palm Beach two years after getting engaged in 2011. Jordan, now 55, is always seen with the beautiful 39-year-old, Yvette, on his arm. In 2014, the two welcomed the birth of twin girls Ysabel and Victoria. It's pretty remarkable that Jordan was ready to become a father again in his 50s, but we suppose it makes sense if it's with the woman he loves. We speak for basketball fans everywhere when we say we can't wait to see how the twins can dribble a basketball.
11 Derek Jeter (43) and Hannah Davis (28)
Derek Jeter, a former professional baseball shortstop managed to get himself a real home run with wife Hannah Jeter. Hannah Davis is an impressive 15 years younger than Derek, but what is more she is a model having appeared in Sports Illustrated. More so, his stunning wife as appeared in movies and TV shows such as ‘Vacation’ and ‘Project Runway’. This handsome couple tied the knot in 2016, four years after they started dating. The two held their wedding ceremony in St. Helena, Calif.
Sources report that their 15 year age gap does not affect the couple in the slightest as they apparently hardly ever fight.
Further, in August of 2017, a year after getting married Hannah gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl, Bella Raine. The two live a very active lifestyle and enjoy their perfect little family together. Jeter of course, is now running the Miami Marlins and has come under a little fire for selling off many of the team's best assets, but we'll see how things go for the Marlins in the future. Meanwhile, there certainly doesn't seem to be anything wrong with Jeter's life at home. That must make it easier to show up to an empty ballpark.
10 Hines Ward (42) and Lindsey Georgalas-Ward (27)
Hines Ward needs no introduction for NFL fans, particularly Steeler nation. Ward of course, is a renowned former football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward was married once before to ex-wife Simone until such time that they decided to part ways in 2010. In 2014, Ward went on to marry his current wife Lindsey Georgalas. Lindsey is a beautiful woman, having been born in Texas, she went on to study and make a career in dance. We wonder if his wife fell in love with him after seeing him kill it on Dancing With The Stars, as Ward won his season in 2011.
The two got married at Heinz Field, a place Ward called home his entire NFL career. The two tied the knot after two years of dating and even to today, the two seem very happily married.
In an interesting plot twist, soon after the couple got hitched, they appeared in an episode of celebrity ‘Wife Swap’ in 2015. Ward was paired with Brittney Powell, the late Verne Troyer’s girlfriend and so Lindsey was paired with Verne himself.
Needless to say, the two are happily married and do not feel their 15 year age gap at all.
9 Wladimir Klitschko (42) & Hayden Panettiere (28)
Ukrainian former professional boxer, Wladimir Klitschko, started dating his beautiful girlfriend, the Nashville star and actress, Hayden Panettiere in 2009. Although the two are considered an odd match, him a rough and tough boxer, and her a petite actress, the two have managed to make things work.
Panettiere is 14 years younger than Klitschko, but considering they have been going strong for nine years now, who are we to judge?
The two met each other at a book party and have been glued together ever since. There was however, a short period where the celebrity couple took a break. Yet it wasn’t long before they got back together and got engaged in October of 2013. Not long after their engagement, 2014 saw the arrival of the couple’s first child together.
Klitschko is now 42 and Panettiere is 28, and the two seem to be loving their life together. There hasn't been many updates on when their wedding will be, which has often caused many rumors to spread about the two being on the rocks, but as we know, these things tend to get blown out of proportion. We're sure that when the wedding does happen, it'll be something special, considering how long they've waited.
8 Tiki Barber (43) and Traci Lynn Johnson (29)
Atiib Kiambu Hakeem-Ah “Tiki” Barber is a former NFL running back, who was known for his work with the New York Giants. So, the story with his love life goes like this; according to reports Tiki met an intern for NBC, Traci Lynn Johnson. The timing of it caused quite a lot of controversy, as Tiki's wife at the time Ginny Cha, was expecting twins.
A mere eight days after his divorce was finalized, Tiki went on to marry the 14 years younger, Traci Lynn. The two tied the knot at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. Although the couple were happily married, they did not escape the backlash from fans, after they found out about the scenario.
Obviously when they first met, Barber faced a lot of scrutiny from the media, but he said being with Traci made it all worth it: I have a wonderful girlfriend who lives me and got me through those bad times,' said Barber.
After four years of marriage, it is safe to say that the 'how they met' story is now behind them. The couple have remained together and in 2016 they welcomed their second child together. Hopefully, all parties involved have been able to move on from the ugly proceedings of a few years ago.
7 Julius Erving (68) and Dorys Madden (56)
Julius Winfield Erving, otherwise known as Dr. J, is a basketball legend who is also known for his escapades off the field. Dr. J wrote his very own biography, to which he went into detail on how he did his fair share of getting around. His biography tells all about his previous marriage to his then-wife, Turquoise Brown. Throughout their marriage from 1972 to 2003, the couple had four children together.
Dr. J. would also have children with two other women. The first child was with a Samantha Stevenson, to which he has a baby girl, now tennis player Alexander. Further, the second child was carried by Dorys Madden. The hoops star ended up with Madden who is 12 years his junior. Madden and Erving got married in 2008 after his divorce with Brown was finalized. He and Madden have gone on to have two more children of their own.
While some of his past is definitely controversial, we have to give credit to Erving for being very upfront and honest about everything in his book. If you're looking for more of the story on how he ended up with Madden, it's definitely worth a read. It's quite simply named: DR. J: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY
6 Lance Armstrong (46) and Anna Hansen (35)
Lance Armstrong is yet another infamous athlete. This American professional cyclist made headlines for a doping scandal in 2012. Armstrong was married for five years to Kristin Richard before it ended in 2003. Soon after Lance started dating pop singer, songwriter and actress Sheryl Crow. However, the couple didn’t last and broke things off in 2006. Armstrong had nothing but good things to say about her following the split. "She’s a great lady. Obviously it didn’t work out, but I think and I hope she’s happy. I’m happy,” he shared of ending the engagement. “It’s tough to pull it off. I mean, how many couples have been able to pull it off? To her credit, she was a stay-at-home—one of the biggest rock stars—she was a great partner. She was at the races … it wasn’t like we never saw each other.”
After a few years, Lance started dating his current girlfriend, Anna Hansen, in 2008. Lance is 11 years older than Hansen.
Although the scandal for Armstrong must have taken a real toll on their relationship, the two managed to stick things out.
Furthermore, the couple got engaged on the 23rd of May, last year. More so, the couple already share two children together, a boy and a girl. Their names are Max and Olivia respectively. Despite their age gap the couple and their family are getting along swimmingly.
5 Cristiano Ronaldo (33) and Georgina Rodriguez (23)
One of the most famous professional footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo, also loves himself a young lady. Ronaldo’s current girlfriend, model, Georgina Rodriguez is ten years younger than the professional footballer. The 23-year-old shares her first child, Alana Martina, with the sports star, who they welcomed to the world in November of last year. This is not Ronaldo’s first child as he already has twins Eva and Mateo as well as a son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, from previous relationships.
Despite this being their first child together, Rodriguez says she does not want any more children with the Real Madrid soccer star. Following their son's birth, Rodriguez said: “With Cristiano, I have found love. We complement each other very well,” Rodríguez told Hola! Magazine. “We have a beautiful relationship. When I have him next to me, I have everything,” she told the Spanish-language magazine, adding: “The children are our happiness — we wake up and the first thing we do is hug and kiss them.”
However this doesn’t sit well with the Portuguese footballer as he has mentioned before that he would like to have seven children, to match the number of Ballons d’Or he intends to win. We hope that the fire of love will continue to burn for this celebrity couple.
4 Gerard Pique (31) and Shakira (41)
Spanish professional footballer Gerard Pique Benabeu has decided, unlike most sportsman, to date someone ten years his senior. Not just anyone however, the beautiful Columbian singer songwriter, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. Otherwise known to you and me as, Shakira. Despite their ten year age gap the couple have been together for a happy seven years and counting. The two met during the 2010 World Cup. What a month that must've been for Pique, who not only won the World Cup with his home nation of Spain, but he also met the woman of his dreams! The two have a gorgeous babies together, Milan and Sasha, both boys.
It looks like, despite their age gap, this couple is still in the honeymoon phase, loving each and every moment together.
Regardless of their age, this couple is picture perfect, as Shakira seems to never age and her handsome partner Gerard seems to suit her perfectly. They go everywhere with each other and their two boys. Whether it be the soccer field or the red carpet. Pique and Shakira will be coming up on eight years since they met when the World Cup takes place this summer in Russia. They'll be hoping to celebrate with another World Cup for La Roja.
3 Mike Tyson (51) and Lakiha Spicer (42)
Mike Tyson, our much loved former professional boxer. Definitely a ladies man seeing that he has been married three times already. His first marriage was with Robin Givens, to which the pair only lasted a year. Thereafter, he married Monica Turner, which he stayed with for six years before ending things in 2003. He is now married to Lakiha Spicer, which he has been with since 2009. Lakiha is nine years younger than Tyson, but it seems that when compared to his previous marriages, has stood the test of time. The couple have now been married for nine years and so far so good. Mike Tyson is father to seven children.
More so, in addition to all of Tyson’s biological children, he includes the oldest daughter of second wife, Monica, as one of his own. Despite a manic house full of kids and their age gap this couple seem to be handling themselves really well.
As we all know, Tyson has had his personal demons, but Spicer seems to be the one who changed everything. Tyson credits Lakiha as being the person who convinced him to turn his life around: “I’m very happy me and my wife got together,” he says, “because I don’t know how I would have survived out there.”
2 Boris Becker (50) and Lilly (41)
Boris Becker is considered to be a former German number one tennis player. The star tennis player had an eight year long marriage with former wife Barbara before breaking things off in 2001. Much later on, Becker took on his current wife Lilly Becker. Lilly is a Dutch model who is nine years junior to Boris. Lilly is not only famous for her modelling but also her TV appearances in ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Global Gladiators’, ‘The Big Music Quiz’ and many others, with ‘The Taste’ being her most recent in 2017. The pair were married in St. Moritz Switzerland.
Furthermore, they have one child together alongside Becker’s other three children.
This couple, along with the others before them, have proven that age is no matter when it comes to love. Boris who is currently 50 years of age, is enjoying spending time with his family alongside his stunning wife Lilly, 41. They've run into some financial trouble recently, as many outlets, such as the Daily Mail have detailed the struggles they've met in recent months due to a lot of Becker's fortune being gone. Hopefully, this doesn't cause any strife in their marriage because we all know how tricky money can make things in a marriage.
1 Tiger Woods (42) and Erica Herman (33)
Eldrick Tont Woods, or as we call him, Tiger Woods, a professional golfer who has been made infamous for his rather chaotic love life. From 2004 until 2010, Woods was married to Swedish model, Elin Nordegren, which ended quite abruptly after the 2009 Tiger Woods scandal. Since his divorce, it looks like Tiger has always been on the prowl having many girlfriends in between.
In the latest news, Woods has been seen with now girlfriend, Erica Herman who is nine years his junior. More so, Herman came about not long after Woods was with his ex-girlfriend Kristin Smith.
We are hoping that despite his shifty past, as well as their rather large age gap, that the couple can enjoy each other and that 42-year-old Woods can settle down. Unlike many of Tiger's past relationships which were well known to most of the public, Woods has kept his relationship with Herman quite private, perhaps trying to learn from past mistakes. All we know is that she's gotten a spouse credential at recent PGA events and has been alongside Tiger. Perhaps more light will eventually be shed on their relationship.
After going through these 15 couples, we can say that sometimes age really isn't important in finding happiness.