LANDSTUHL, Germany – Tall, blonde and attractive are all words commonly used to describe former tennis star and model Anna Kournikova. But the skinny Russian steamstress displayed a deeper side Wednesday when visiting wounded troops and staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. She spent more time than most celebrities chatting with the wounded at the intensive care unit and on the hospital wards. Kournikova took so long talking to troops, taking pictures with staff and signing autographs on the wards that she was running late for her scheduled appearance at the hospital’s dining facility.
“Every time I go into a room, I have to be really strong and try to be very positive,” she said. “Really, you just walk in, and you want to cry. You want to hug them. You have to be really strong, positive and keep smiling to encourage them, to show them support. They’re all so brave. There’s no other word. I know it all sounds so cliche, but that’s why it’s cliche. It’s the truth.” When her publicist told her she would have to conduct an interview with the media while walking to the dining facility, Kournikova shot down the idea, saying she wanted to conduct the interview “properly.” In a roughly five-minute interview standing in a hallway, Kournikova talked about her pride and respect for U.S. servicemembers, particularly the wounded. –Stars and Stripes
I’ll let Anna sign my balls anytime she wants. -TO