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Steffi Graf Essay

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Steffi Graf was born June14, 1969 in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany. She is the daughter of Peter and Heidi Graf. She first learned how to play tennis at the age of three, when her father taught her how to swing a racket. At the age of four she was practicing on a court and at the age of five she was playing in her first tournaments. At the age of six she won her first tournament. In 1982 she won the European Championships 12s and 18s.

She played in her first professional tournament in 1982. In 1983 she was ranked 124th in the world at the age of 13. In 1984, at the age of 15, Steffi represented Germany at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and won the gold medal there. Her father kept control of her schedule so she didn't burn out at an early rate and age. She often practiced four hours a day. Her father also kept close tabs on her personal life.

Steffi's breakout year came in 1987, where she won six tournaments heading into the French Open. In the French Open, she beat Martina Navratilova, who was ranked No. 1 in the world. In 1988, she won the Calendar Year Golden Slam, which is winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. She was ranked No. 1 in the world for 377 weeks. She has won 107 single titles. In 1999 she retired, which shocked everyone. In 2004 she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

In 1969, the year Steffi was born, withdrawal from Vietnam began. Also, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon and 250,000 march on Washington to protest the Vietnam conflict. In the 1970's a lot of things went on. In 1971 The Beatles break up, and 448 U.S. colleges and universities are closed or go on strike and killing of students by the National Guard at Kent State and Jackson State universities. In 1975 Fascist rule ends in Spain with death of Francisco Franco, democracy was restored. In 78' the first test tube baby was born in England. In 1979, Vietnam invades Cambodia.

In 1981 the first U.S. space shuttle, "Columbia," makes inaugural flight. In 84' the AIDS virus is discovered. In 1989 the Exxon Valdez spills eleven million gallons of oil in Alaska. In 1990 Former USSR ruler Mikail Gorbachev wins Nobel Peace Prize and in 92' Duke wins second straight NCAA championship, beating Michigan. In 96' Terrorist bombs explodes in a city park during Atlanta Summer Olympics and in 1999 two students open fire in a Columbine, Colorado high school killing 13 before committing suicide.

Steffi Graf, the founder of Children for Tomorrow, serves as chairwoman and is integrated into the work and responsibilities of the organization. Children for Tomorrow is a nonprofit foundation with the goal of supporting and initiating projects that provide assistance to children and families who have become victims of war, persecution, and violence.

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