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  • Most famous person you've shaken hands with

    Actually pressed flesh with -- not just seen or gotten autograph from.

    For me, either Wilt Chamberlain or Garth Brooks. Have to give the edge to The Big Dipper. This was at the Montreal OGs at the Forum. I was sitting near him and just knew I had to shake his hand. After about an hour of getting my nerve up, I just said "Wilt?" and put my hand out. Wilt, a great guy, obliged and shook my hand.

    Garth is also a great guy. At a video shoot in Nashville, when me and my wife were out honky tonking and bar hopping, Garth took time to meet the crowd that had gathered. My wife was in front as Garth came by and I took a picture of them. Garth then said, to me, "What's your name?" I was surprised and said, "Bill." He shook my hand and said, "Nice to meet you, Bill."

    Can anybody top those?

  • #2
    Re: Most famous person you've shaken hands with

    Originally posted by BillVol
    Can anybody top those?
    Best i can do is Paul Nurse.

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    • #3
      I would not attempt to rank them but, not counting three or four US Presidents, since you have already claimed Garth Brooks, a fellow OSU alum, whom I have met on a few occasions, I will substitute Reba McEntyre, another down-to-earth Okie, whom I met through a track official friend's wife who coordinates Reba's Texas/Oklahoma appearances..
      Without thinking too hard, I can come up with Jack Dempsey, circa 1955, when he was doing PR opening supermarket stores (Jack was not as big as I expected but his was the largest, hardest hand I can remember ever shaking) and Frank Shorter, who has been a friend since 1973.
      As an official, I have shaken hands with a number of rather notable athletes, including Jackie Joymer Kersee, Carl Lewis and Mike Powell. I have come to know Mike. I don't know if anyone knows Carl. I do not know Jackie personally but, after the competition, she usually shook every convenient official's hand and thanked them.
      I have never asked anyone for an autograph.

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      • #4
        Brian Clough.

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        • #5
          Vicente Fox when he was governor of Guanajuato.
          You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

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          • #6
            Along the lines of lonewolf, as an official, I've had the fortunate opportunity to interact with so many athletes. LW mentions JJK...quick side note...at the 2004 USATF Annual Meeting in Portland, it was ironic JJK and Mike Conley were being inducted into the T&F HOF @ the same time...the three of us competed in a lot the same age-group track & field meets throughout the Midwest during our teenage years as well as HS. Since all three of us were from Illinois ( I had moved to the state due to my dad's job), you have to throw in in Wallace Spearmon, Sr.

            In terms of famous people: two U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), a variety of U.S. Senators (including the late Ted Kennedy and the current Vice President when he was a Senator and used to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) and Representatives, Wilt Chamberlain (a HS classmate of my dad's), Nina Simone, George Benson, and some other notables which resulted me being in the right place at the right time.

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            • #7
              Among sporting people, it must be Zátopek. I was a youngster, when he visited our youth club and chatted with us.
              In the science world, Sir John Eccles.
              In politics, probably Senator Kohl.
              "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
              by Thomas Henry Huxley

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              • #8
                In T&F I have talked to (and I always shake hands first) - among others, Dwight Stones, Mark Decker, JJK, Suzy Favor, Bruce Jenner, Allen Johnson, Alan Webb, and, best of all, STACY DRAGILA !!

                My non-T&F list is topped by John F Kennedy and Robert Frost. They both came to my (later) high school (JFK was an alum) when I was little (age 10 or 11) and I stood in the receiving line expressly for the purpose of pressing the flesh.

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                • #9
                  My best friend in high school's mother was a German war bride. When she was a little girl she was in a recieving line for a guy with a funny mustach and was patted on the head by Hitler. Hope this doesnt kill this thread.

                  I've meet a lot of famous people but the most famous? Eric Clapton or Robin Williams- who's more famous. :?
                  phsstt!

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                  • #10
                    In the track world... I kissed Sanya Richards (on the cheek) 8-) . My heart skipped a beat and my knees gave out. But I survived.

                    But I've met, shook hands with and in most cases took pictures with (you're not gonna believe this 8-) )...

                    In no particular order...

                    Sanya Richards 8-)
                    Rafer Johnson,
                    Carl Lewis,
                    Valerie Briscoe Hooks,
                    Jackie Joyner Kersee,
                    Al Joyner,
                    Gail Devers,
                    Dennis Mitchell,
                    Chandra Cheeseborough,
                    Allyson Felix,
                    Muna Lee,
                    Marshevet Hooker,
                    Wallace Spearmon,
                    Tyson Gay,
                    Lashawn Merritt,
                    Jeremy Wariner,
                    Darold Williamson,
                    Lashinda Demus,
                    Tiffany Ross-Williams,
                    Angelo Taylor
                    Kerron Clement,
                    Bernard Lagat,
                    Bershawn Jackson,
                    Michelle Perry,
                    James Carter,
                    Walter Dix,
                    Tori Edwards,
                    Bobby Kersee,
                    David Oliver,
                    Jearl Miles Clark
                    Lisa Barber
                    Hazel Clark
                    Miki Barber
                    John Capel,
                    Allen Johnson,
                    Adam Nelson,
                    Lewis Johnson,
                    Harvey Glance,
                    Coach Brooks Johnson,
                    Stephanie Durst
                    Michelle Carter
                    Leroy Burrell
                    Deloreen Ennis London
                    Sheila Burrell
                    Khadevous Robinson
                    Carmelita Jeter
                    Lauryn Williams
                    Nichole Denby
                    Monique Hennegan
                    Doc Patton
                    Joanna Hayes
                    Sheena Tosta
                    Xavier Carter
                    Trindon Holliday
                    Natasha HAstings
                    Willie Gault
                    Dan OBrien
                    Jordan Hasay
                    Jennifer Stuczynski
                    Staci Dragila
                    Larry Rawson
                    Terrence Trammell
                    Monique Henderson
                    Stanley Floyd
                    Mary Wineburg
                    Jenny Adams
                    Dominique Arnold
                    Chaunte Howard
                    Leroy Dixon
                    DeeDee Trotter
                    Diana Pickler
                    Christian Smith
                    Hyleas Fountain
                    Jeremy Rome
                    Shawn Crawford
                    and the great Renaldo Nehemiah...

                    To name a few. :wink:

                    Also I had dinner with Sanya Richards 8-) and Aaron Ross (NFL),, Coach Clyde Hart, Wallace Spearmon, Lauryn Williams, Monica Hargrove, Bershawn Batman Jackson, Dominique Darden and Nichole Denby.

                    I'll do the non track folk later.
                    The fool has said...there is no God. Psa 14

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                    • #11
                      My bad. ops:

                      I was only supposed to list one person.

                      Oh well.
                      The fool has said...there is no God. Psa 14

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                      • #12
                        Show-off :evil:

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                        • #13
                          :lol:

                          :wink:
                          The fool has said...there is no God. Psa 14

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                          • #14
                            Politician - Pierre Trudeau, then Prime Minister of Canada.
                            In the presence of the Queen of England, but no hand-shaking allowed...
                            Coach - Arthur Lydiard
                            Athletes - Mary Slaney, Grete Waitz, John Walker, Ron Clarke, Seb Coe. Many dozens of others as well, but I think those were the most well-known.
                            Golfed with Steve Cram.
                            Most infamous - Ben Johnson
                            I also shook hands with Wilt, at a track meet in Honolulu. - he was a BIG fan.

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                            • #15
                              Politicians:
                              Jimmy Carter
                              Gerald Ford
                              Xanana Gusmao (PM of East Timor)
                              Jose Ramos-Horta (Nobel prize awardee and president of East Timor)
                              Prince Norodom of Cambodia
                              and 3 presidents of Indonesia that nobody here has ever heard of.

                              Actors:
                              Robert Redford
                              Gregory Peck
                              Dudley Moore
                              Michael J. Fox
                              Michelle Pfeiffer

                              Sports people:
                              Lance Armstrong
                              Jack Nicklaus
                              Sergei Bubka
                              Alberto Juantorena
                              Floyd Landis (oops)
                              Dave Scott
                              Mark Allen
                              Gene Washington

                              Fellow UCLA Bruins (while I was a student asst. in the S.I.D.'s office):
                              John Wooden
                              Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
                              Troy Aikman
                              Reggie Miller
                              JJK
                              Gail Devers
                              Bobby Kersee
                              Danny Everett
                              Kevin Young
                              Steve Lewis
                              Karch Kiraly
                              Sinjin Smith
                              Terry Donahue
                              and a dozen other B-list Bruins

                              Religious folk:
                              Mother Teresa (on a trip to Calcutta years ago)
                              Dalai Lama (also in India)

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