Thursday, August 12, 2010

Celebrating Celebrity Shoes - Tennis Edition!

This week, in celebration of the Rogers Cup, Canada's major tennis open, the Bata Shoe Museum is excited to show you two special pairs of shoes belonging to two men who are a part of tennis and sports history as one of the 20th century's great athletic rivalries!

"Bj√∂rn Borg vs. John McEnroe, two of the best tennis players ever, met a total of 14 times between 1978 and 1981. To the pre-teen boy I was then they embodied what sport and life was all about. A Borg-McEnroe match-up was an athletic contest, but more fascinating still were the contrasting styles in which they played the game: the Swede always calm and collected; the American throwing tantrums and spitting insults at umpires. For me it wasn’t –and isn’t- a matter of choosing a favourite. What I admired in both of them was their total commitment to playing their best game, and the respect they showed each other."
Roger Hunziker, Education and Public Programs Coordinator

These tennis shoes were owned and worn by the two tennis greats - Borg on the left and McEnroe on the right. The shoes from Borg were bought at auction. The shoes from McEnroe were presented to Mrs. Sonja Bata at the Players International Champoinship (now the Rogers Cup) in 1984 at the National Tennis Centre, York University Toronto. He explained to Mrs. Bata that the shoes had a cut in them which he had made himself due to a foot problem.

Both shoes are signed and are part of the collection of the Bata Shoe Museum.

Check out these two amazing players battling it out in one of their most famous matches.

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