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Ewa Mataya Laurance, “The Striking Viking”, Hall of fame pool player, world champion trick shot artist and ESPN analyst
Published June 29, 2009
What I Like …
An insight: The tougher the climb, the more rewarding the view.
An influential person in my career: My daughter. She inspires me to work harder and is a constant reminder that I need to always be the role model.
An out-of-the-box idea: Women’s pool on ESPN.
A timeless idea: Always try to do the right thing, whatever that means to you at that time.
A sports facility: Wrigley Field, Boston Billiard Club.
An ad: American Express’ “Don’t leave home without it.”
A business decision: A sneaker company making golf clubs (Nike).
A TV ad campaign: The E-Trade talking babies.
A print ad campaign: PETA’s “Be comfortable in your own skin.”
A hire: The Chicago Bulls hiring Vinny Del Negro as head coach.
A brand: Brunswick.
A trend: Going green.
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Liquid-resistant pool table cloth.
A fantasy job: Caddying for Tiger at Augusta (Can I use a pull cart?).
What I Like About …
My job: Everything! I get to compete, entertain and travel around the world while meeting and inspiring people from all walks of life.
My sport: The fact that there’s only me and the table; no excuses.
Sports: How it challenges and encourages you to improve and to reach higher.
Sports business: Opportunities to expand, grow and envision. The business of sports is limitless when it comes to creativity.
Sports media: The feel-good stories.
Sports technology: That it allows me to drive the ball 200 yards plus!
The future of sports business: Paying attention to the next generation.
Sports fans: Their loyalty.
What I Would Like To …
Change in my sport: More prize money.
See less in my sport: Preconceived notions about pool from people who don’t even know the sport.
See more of in sports business: Responsibility and awareness of impact on kids.
Reintroduce: Straight pool.
Eliminate: Speed pool.
What I Don’t Like …
Pet peeve: The fact that most people don’t understand and appreciate what an intelligent, beautiful, fascinating, yet difficult game billiards is.
In sports: Money having such a big role in school sports.
In my sport: Hustling.
In media: In-your-face television hosts.
In technology: When it compromises the game’s integrity.
In sports facilities: Dirty rest rooms.
In sports journalism: Being misquoted.
About sports fans: When they forget that, in the end, it’s just a game.
What I Like …
That would surprise those who know me: I’ve become a Facebooker.
Players: Efren Reyes, Willie Mosconi, Annika Sorenstam, Tiger Woods.
Teams: Blue Devils, Yankees, Brynäs (the hockey team from Gävle, Sweden).
City: Stockholm, Chicago and Charleston, S.C.
Possession: My Brunswick Montebello table.
Memento: The gold medal from my first European Championship.
Time of year: Spring. The weather is perfect for golf during the day and for playing pool at night.
Authors: Jodi Picoult, Khaled Hosseini.
Magazines: Self, Newsweek, People, Vanity Fair.
Gadgets: My BlackBerry.
Trips: Anywhere! Partial to going home to Sweden for family visits.
Movies: “Forrest Gump,” “The Hustler,” “Spartacus,” “Slumdog Millionaire.”
TV: “American Idol,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” golf tournaments.
Artist: Leif Formgren.
Food: Sesame-seared tuna.
Dessert: Pear ice cream.
Drink: Water, coffee and wine. Not necessarily always in that order.
Scent: Flora by Gucci.
Vacation spots: Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, South Africa. Pretty much anywhere I can bring my clubs.
Cars: Volvo (and maybe a Porsche for the weekend).
Singer: Tom Petty, Duffy, Sade.
Quote: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” — Jimmy Valvano.