At the Top of Their Game
RESIDENCE: BOCA RATON, FLA.; AUSTIN, TEXAS
Laurels: Ranked second on the pro tour, the 2003 U.S. Open champ has a 152 m.p.h. serve.
What he can't leave home without: "I have to have my laptop, DVD player, iPod–all the toys, my mini-entertainment center–on the road," he says.
Best place to meet him: "At a function or party," says Roddick, who has been dating model Lauren Bedford since his split from actress-singer Mandy Moore in March. "I don't do blind dates. That's begging for punishment. I'm not comfortable in a bar; the cheese factor is high."
How not to impress him: "It's weird that someone thinks it would be a good idea to send me panties through the mail," he says.
What character flaw he's working on: His temper. "I broke 57 racquets in 2002," he says. "It's better now."
Why playing in his first Olympics means so much: "It's the ultimate honor in sports to be asked to represent your country," he says. "It was a no-brainer for me."
SPORT: RACECAR DRIVING
RESIDENCE: HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.
Laurels: Ranked No. 12 on the Nascar circuit.
What's scary about racing: "Over-driving the car, crashing," he says. "There's a learning curve."
What's great about racing: "It has made meeting girls easier," says younger brother Kale, a pit crew member who lives with Kasey.
What makes a bad date: "I sat there and listened to a girl talk all night," he says. "I listened for two hours then took her home."
Why he wants to get married: "To quit looking," he says. "It's been long enough. When I'm with the right girl, everything is simpler, more relaxing, easier."
SPORT: BMX BIKE RACING
RESIDENCE: GREENVILLE, N.C.
Laurels: Winner of the most gold medals (12) since the X-games began in 1995.
What he's most proud of: Hit by a car at 19, a year after going pro, Mirra fractured his skull and dislocated his shoulder. "The doctors were telling me I should never get on a BMX bike again," he says. "But I wasn't going to let them stop me."
What he values most: He earns millions a year in endorsements, but, he says, "I don't have any prized possessions that can't be replaced, except for my family."
What makes him crazy: "When someone sits at a table and doesn't push their chair in when they get up," he says. "I can be a little bit tough to live with."
RESIDENCE: MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIF.
Laurels: Los Angeles Lakers rookie.
How he got his NBA DNA: Dad is Hall of Famer Boston Celtics Bill Walton.
Why dating is on hold for now: "My life is impossible, this being my first year. I can't even keep plants alive!"
Why he may be worth the wait: "When I have a family, I'm going to pour all my passion into that."
How much he hates to lose: "When my three brothers and I get together, we'll play board games and I'll have everyone up at 3 in the morning because I haven't won," he says. "As soon as win, I can go to bed."
SPORT: TAE KWON DO
RESIDENCE: SUGARLAND, TEXAS
Laurels: First Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion in tae kwon do.
How training cramps his love life: "My routine is: home, train, home, train, eat. sleep, train," he says. "In high school I didn't date at all."
What he means when he says he's a mama's boy: "I was brought up in a Latin-Hispanic family, where my mother did most everything. The woman in my life is going to have to treat me as well as my mother has."
Why a woman might not mind: "He has the biggest heart of any human I've ever met in my life," says older brother Jean, "He's supportive and compassionate and intelligent and is going to make a lady very lucky."
HEIGHT: 6 FT.
RESIDENCE: BROOKLYN, N.Y.
Laurels: He has been the top U.S. saber fencer for five of the past six years.
You probably haven't heard of him: "But in Europe they all know fencing, so it's like being a tennis star or a golfer in America. People will come up to me with posters of me to sign. It's bizarre."
He wears another hat: When he's not training for the Olympics, he's a financial analyst for Verizon in Newark, N.J.
He needs his own space: "If I'm sleeping over, I need my own corner with my stuff. I don't want my clothes or bag to be touched. I'm obsessed with 'my' area and 'your' area."
Why he deserves your pity: "I've never been on a real vacation, believe it or not. I just didn't have the time."
RESIDENCE: ORANGE, CALIF.
Laurels: Half of No. 1-ranked U.S. national doubles team (partner is Kevin Han).
How he got so good at badminton: "We train two hours in the morning, running. In the afternoon we do court time, then weightlifting until 7."
What he looks for in a woman: "My dream girl would be patient and understand my being an athlete," he says. "I'm dragging because I'm always on the road."
Why victory is sweet: "I love beating teams who think I don't have a chance," he says. "They are sitting there trying to figure out, how did he do this? It's the best feeling. Payback!"
PAUL & MORGAN HAMM
RESIDENCE: COLUMBUS, OHIO
Laurels: Paul, left, was the first American to win the all-around title at the 2003 world championships; Morgan took the floor exercise U.S. title in 2002 and 2003.
What they do when they're not training: Whatever it is, the fraternal twins do it together–playing tennis or golf, going to movies, even dancing to hip-hop. "We basically have the same friends, so we are around each other all the time," says Morgan. "The only time we're really apart is if we're with a girlfriend."
Why they get along so well: "Our personalities are very similar," says Paul. With one exception, according to Morgan: "Paul can be bossy in the gym. Sometimes it gets on my nerves."
How they differ: "Morgan likes really sweet girls," says Paul. "I don't like them [as] sweet!"
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