There are many famous athlete power couples in the world of sports, but few have had as long and enduring of a relationship as that of Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton.
While some of the more famous celebrity relationships have only lasted months, the union between Reece and Hamilton have lasted decades. They don’t compete in the same sport, either, and they actually met by pure chance. Hamilton is a famous surfer, while Reece played volleyball professionally. That said, she also moonlighted as a model and a TV host, and those gigs allowed her to meet her husband.
A look at Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton
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According to Seminoles, Reece was a rising star in the beach volleyball world, and, in 1990, she was named as the Most Inspiring Collegiate Athlete in the country. She played for Florida State and it didn’t take her long before she went pro. That said, she wasn’t just a volleyball player. According to Simon & Schuster, she also co-authored a book about volleyball.
On top of that, she started modeling in college while she was playing volleyball. These side gigs were useful as her pro career, while it was successful, never really took off. She won the offensive player of the year award in 1994 and in 1995, but ultimately retired from the sport a few years later.
Hamilton is the more famous one in the relationship, as he’s been a pro surfer for a long time. That said, like his wife, he also pursued other careers while he was surfing. One of them was in Hollywood, and he had roles in several Hollywood productions.
Thanks to how famous he was, he got to meet his wife by pure chance.
How the two met and the ‘messy bits’ in their lives
In 1995, while hosting a TV show called The Extremists, Reece was given the job of interviewing Hamilton, according to Yahoo. This wasn’t love at first sight, and in fact, he was actually dismissive of her at first. Hamilton told Yahoo that he thought, “Who is this? Another pretty bimbo that’s going to ask me dumb questions.”
This lack of chemistry was apparent in the interview, but they were still interested in each other. Hamilton told Yahoo that, “My intrigue of Gabby was brought to life after realizing how smart she was.” Eight days after meeting each other, they moved in with one another.
But, there were a lot of hitches along the way. Even though Reece told Yahoo that, “Laird was the one. I trusted that, and I’m really glad I did,” they had a lot of issues to deal with. For one, he was living in Hawaii while she was living in California. For two, he was married and had a baby daughter, while she had a boyfriend. Of course, those issues were dealt with and two years after meeting in 1995, they were married.
The advice that Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton have for others
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Obviously, dealing with those ‘messy bits,’ as she called them, were easier said than done. But, she took some advice from Hamilton in terms of how to deal with them. As she told Yahoo, “When you do something, you sort of really fully and wholly commit.”
Since this commitment, the two have been married ever since, and now have two kids with one another. They’ve also helped raise the daughter that Hamilton had from his first marriage. But, like any couple, they aren’t perfect.
Like she told Yahoo, the pair have had to learn how to communicate truthfully with one another. But, she also added that this skill was vital to their relationship. “You have the opportunity to show somebody your ‘ugly cards,’ and if they can stand there and say … ‘I love you’ — what that can do to your relationship is pretty powerful,” she told Yahoo.
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