Earlier this year someone asked Pamela Anderson to buy a raffle
ticket to raise funds for a gymnast named Mohini Bhardwaj, a
25-year-old Los Angeles woman who was trying to make the U.S.
Olympic team. When she heard Bhardwaj's story, Anderson (below)
didn't buy a ticket--she donated $20,000. And the actress, who
took gymnastics lessons as a preteen growing up in Canada, even
took a personal interest in Bhardwaj, who like Anderson is a
vegetarian. "She came into the gym and watched a workout," says
Bhardwaj. "[The money] alleviated a lot of stress on my part. I
think I'd be a nervous wreck if I didn't know she was backing
me." Last week at the Olympic trials in Anaheim, Anderson watched
from the stands--and held up a GO MO sign--as Bhardwaj finished
sixth out of 16. A committee will decide the U.S. team for Athens
in a closed-door session at Bela Karolyi's ranch in Huntsville,
Texas, next week.
--Survivor Australia winner Tina Wesson bought a Harley with part
of her $1 million prize money. Survivor Africa winner Ethan Zohn
is trying to do a little more with his. The former Vassar soccer
star is giving some of his reality riches to Grassroots Soccer,
an African AIDS and HIV awareness program driven by soccer
players. Zohn, 30, who played in Zimbabwe before landing on
Survivor, will help train professional players as HIV educators
and join them in classrooms throughout the African nation, where
the life expectancy is 39 years. Says Zohn, "It's the same
concept as Charles Barkley going into the inner city to teach
kids about drugs."
--Sage Rosenfels, the Dolphins' 26-year-old third-string
quarterback, is putting his marketing degree to good use. The
former vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America
at Iowa State has launched The Ultimate Sage Rosenfels
Experience, which allows you to hire him to do, he says, "just
about anything" for a nominal fee. (Some of the proceeds go to
the Everett Connor Center for Independent Living, an Iowa City
charity that assists people with disabilities.) "It's easy to go
out and get appearances--and that extra money--if you're Zach
[Thomas] or Ricky [Williams]," says Rosenfels. "But as a backup
those things are hard to come by. I'll do even the most basic
things." Like serving as a wedding singer? "I don't think so."
Bachelorette parties? "No, no, no. Think more like watching
Monday Night Football with me. I can talk about football all day
--Fox's 2004 NASCAR coverage comes to a close with Saturday's
Pepsi 400, but commentator Darrell Waltrip still has plenty to
keep himself busy. He's building a racing theme park, the Darrell
Waltrip Racing Experience, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., home of Dolly
Parton's Dollywood. The park, scheduled to open next year, will
feature cart racing, race simulators and a broadcast booth. "I'm
trying to create the most realistic experience possible with the
simulators," says Waltrip. "I may not be able to literally crash
them into a wall going 200 miles an hour, but I can do my best to
make them believe they're going to crash into that wall." ...
Marlins pitcher Carl Pavano and Alyssa Milano, who began dating
during Florida's World Series run last fall, have broken up. "I
came into [baseball] as a bachelor and kind of enjoy the life,
doing my own thing," Pavano said. "I have a lot of different
hobbies that take up a lot of time."
July 4, 2004
THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
At least three sets of parents have named their children ESPN, or
Espen, after the network.
THEY SAID IT KEVIN TOWERS
Padres general manager (far left), after Matt Bush was arrested
for allegedly biting a bouncer 13 days after San Diego made him
the top pick overall in the amateur draft: "This is not a very
good early indicator."