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Former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis is a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice - NBC photo

The UFC's Tito Ortiz is a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice - NBC photo

Former five time Olympic gold medalist champion Nadia Comaneci is a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice ELIMINATED WEEK 2 - NBC photo

Olympic gold medal winner Jennie Finch on the Celebrity Apprentice - NBC photo




James Loving/National Radio Text Service



When you think about the plight of some former athletes after they leave sports many are in a situation where they have top struggle in life. In some cases it's due to a lack of education and not being prepared to go on in the real world. For others they succumb to drugs or they squandered the money they earned in sports and their lives fall apart with some falling into a destitute situation. - FIFA TOP 10


Sunday October 26, 2008


When you think about the plight of some former athletes after they leave sports many are in a situation where they have top struggle in life. In some cases it's due to a lack of education and not being prepared to go on in the real world. For others they succumb to drugs or they squandered the money they earned in sports and their lives fall apart with some falling into a destitute situation.

Success stories can be witnessed on Donald Trumps Celebrity Apprentice TV series which was televised in America from January to March of this year. Now it's being telecast in Southeast Asia on the Star World channel with two episodes having aired.

Four top athletes re featured in the series including former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, former UFC mixed martial arts champion Tito Ortiz, five time Olympic gold medal winner Nadia Comaneci and Olympic gold medal winning softball player Jennie Finch.

Thus far Lewis has stood out on the show as a star in a dog food commercial directed by actor Stephen Baldwin and overseen by musician Gene Simmons. The picture of a large muscled out fighter caressing a small bull dog won the competition and was immediately put on the air by the sponsor.

Lewis now 43 years of age. He had 44 fights during his professional boxing career winning 41 with 32 by KO suffered 2 losses and had one draw. Lewis also held an impressive amateur record of 85 wins, which he capped with a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. His decision to retire as the reigning heavyweight champion of the world in 2004 re-affirmed that this is a man who makes decisions for himself and sticks to his principles.

Lewis is now a boxing commentator on HBO. He also appeared recently in the film Johnny Was as the DJ of a pirate radio station, alongside actors such as Finnie Jones and Erik La Salle. On the Celebrity Apprentice Lewis proved his prowess for business when he finished in fourth place out of the 14 contestants.

Tito Ortiz is one of the most popular and most controversial martial arts competitors in the world. He returned victoriously to UFC competition in April 2006 at age 31 and is currently preparing for a major fight scheduled for December 30th at the MGM Grand Las Vegas against UFC World Light Heavyweight Champion, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell in UFC 66.

On the Apprentice show in episode two he lost the plot and became angry when wasn't permitted to be involved in the editing of the commercial which starred Lewis. He claimed that he ran billion dollar company selling shirts. Ahh… Tito a million maybe but a billion, ahh… show us the books. The clothing line is named Team Punishment.

His mixed martial arts record is 15 wins with 8 by knockout and 2 by submission with 6 losses and 1 draw. Ortiz proved his worth on the Apprentice outlasting most contestants until he was fired in week nine.

Nadia Comaneci burst into the limelight as the star of the 1976 Montreal Olympics and is the most celebrated gymnast of our time. The diminutive Romanian eventually produced a lifetime Olympic medal haul of five Golds, three Silvers and one Bronze. She was fired in week 2 on the Apprentice. The reasons given by Trump were she is a great champion and a leader of herself but he doubted that she had what it took to be a team leader.

In the real life and the business world she married former U.S. gymnastics star Bart Conner in April 1996. She still remains involved with the sport through television commentary and the column that she writes for International Gymnast magazine.

She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1996. She was selected at the Female Athlete of the Century in 2000 by the World Sports Foundation. Additionally, she was chosen as one of the "100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century" by Good Housekeeping magazine.

In addition to her work with the Laureus World Sports Academy, she is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International and is Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Jennie Finch 28, is one of America's best-known female athletes. She won a Gold Medal in Athens in 2004 as a member of the US Olympic Softball Team, and is a two-time Honda Award winner. She was named Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA and WCWS, and still holds the NCAA all-time winning streak for softball with 60 wins. Finch was one of the faces of this year's ESPN Fantasy Baseball and was the first female correspondent for "This Week in Baseball."

In 2004, she was named one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People." Finch is married to Diamondbacks pitcher Casey Daigle. The two are proud parents of one-year-old Ace.

Finch was offered a lucrative contract to appear nude for Playboy magazine, but commented to the press on August 14, 2004, that the offer was not going to tempt her. She said that she would "rather be a role model for young girls." She also said that "muscles on women are beautiful, but my personal decision is to stay away from those things; to stay away from that." She once appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a tank top and a mini skirt. Finch pitches for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch softball league. She was named the NPF's Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2005, sharing the award with teammate Lauren Bay. Donald Trump fired her in episode four.


All of the episodes after episode 2 in which Comaneci was fired can be seen on the Star World channel. A new episode is telecast Wednesday nights in Southeast ASIA.

FIFA TOP 10 - Spain unchallenged at the top


Russia back in the top ten

There are no changes to the top three in the latest edition of the FIFA World Ranking: European champions Spain remain unchallenged at the top and have even managed to extend their lead over their nearest challengers Italy and Germany. Things are far more exciting in the next few spots in the ranking. Brazil (4th, up 2), the Netherlands (5th, down 1) and Croatia (6th, down 1) are all within a few points of each other and, together with Argentina (7th), are locked in an exciting head-to-head battle. Russia (9th, up 3) have moved up three places, thus managing to break back into the top ten, at the expense of Turkey (13th, down 3).

The month’s biggest winners, however, are unquestionably from Oceania. On the back of two convincing victories over New Caledonia in their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, New Zealand have gained 268 points and are currently ranked 54th. This means that the All Blacks are once again the highest-ranked OFC team. Other climbers this month include Israel (16th, up 3), Lithuania (37th, up 17) and FYR Macedonia (46th, up 10), all of whom have recorded their best placing since the ranking was introduced.

A total of 125 international “A” matches have been played worldwide since the last edition of the ranking, of which 106 were qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. The remaining internationals were qualifiers for the CONCACAF Gold Cup (six matches) and friendlies (13 matches).

· Leader: Spain (1, unchanged)

· Moves into top 10: Russia (9, up 3)

· Moves out of top 10: Turkey (13, down 3)

· Matches played in total: 125 matches

· Most matches played (3): Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, New Caledonia

· Biggest move by points: New Zealand, plus 268 points

· Biggest move by ranks: New Zealand: up 57 ranks

· Biggest drop by points: Scotland, minus 156 points

· Biggest drop by ranks: Equatorial Guinea, down 34 ranks

· Newly ranked teams: none

· Teams that are no longer ranked: none


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FIFA TOP 10 for October, 2008


Rank -- Team -- Points

1. Spain - 1643

2. Italy - 1365

3. Germany - 1336

4. Brazil - 1280

5. Netherlands - 1258

6. Croatia 1223

7. Argentina - 1200

8. Czech Republic 1111

9. Russia - 1076

10. Portugal - 1075

The next FIFA World Ranking will be published on November 12, 2008


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