This article is sponsored by Citi.
Bob and Mike Bryan began playing tennis doubles professionally in 1998, amassing more than 75 tournament titles. The twins, rated the Association of Tennis Professionals' No. 1 men's doubles team seven times, are aiming for Olympic gold this summer. However, while their athleticism on the tennis court is impressive, there’s a lot more to the Bryan Brothers than tennis.
Here are five things to know about Bob and Mike Bryan:
- They are Olympic medalists: In 2001, Mike asked Bob to focus exclusively on doubles tennis and the 34-year-old twin brothers now have more than 75 tournament titles to their credit, including 11 Grand Slam Men’s Doubles championships and the bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
- Mike will walk down the aisle soon: Mike Bryan became engaged late last year to longtime girlfriend Lucille Williams, a native of Wales. Their wedding will take place in Santa Barbara, CA, in November. They currently have a home in the Tampa area and another residence in California after Mike bought Bob’s half of the house they formerly shared in their native Camarillo.
- Bob is a new dad: Bob married Michelle Alvarez in December 2010, about 10 years after the two met when Michelle began taking tennis lessons from Bob’s mother in Southern California. Bob and Michelle, who celebrated the birth of their daughter Micaela on Jan. 31, live in Sunny Isles Beach, FL, just north of Miami.
- Mike temporarily had another doubles partner: Mike teamed with Mardy Fish for a doubles win in the 5-0 U.S. Davis Cup victory over Switzerland earlier this year when Bob stayed home for the birth of his daughter. The brothers have a schedule that includes two trips to London this summer, the first for the Grand Slam event at Wimbledon this month and the second for the London Olympic Games in July, which also will be contested on the Wimbledon courts.
- Healthy living helps one of the Bryan Brothers stay competitive: Mike has maintained a gluten-free diet for much of the last decade, noting that he was among the first on tour to adopt the lifestyle. He lists Mexican dishes as his favorite food.
Bob and Mike are also focused on giving back. They have joined with Citi to raise money for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Tennis in the Parks initiative.
The NRPA's Tennis in the Parks initiative helps make the game of tennis more accessible to millions of kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn and play. The Bryans’ efforts will help to ensure that children in underserved communities will be taught how to play tennis using kid-sized tennis courts and rackets in local parks.
The Bryans are two of 13 athletes whom Citi is sponsoring in its Every Step of the WaySM program. This innovative digital program benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America by allowing fans to help allocate Citi’s ThankYou® Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, giving Team Citi athletes the chance to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
Citi, a sponsor of Team USA has launched its Every Step of the Way program with a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points - the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. The unique Every Step of the Way program allows fans to help allocate these ThankYou Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter.
The more fans participate through Facebook and Twitter, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to their Sport Program of choice, until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.