Healthy Hollywood has met Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney - but over the weekend, I met the most swoon-worthy star of all - polo player Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras.
This Argentine Adonis defines tall, dark and handsome… some 72 hours later and I am still having major Nacho fantasies.
You might know Nacho as the longtime face of the fashion line Ralph Lauren, but his home turf is the polo field. This weekend, the international sports star co-hosted the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park. The event helped raise money to restore the park after it sustained major damage from Hurricane Sandy. Celebrities, like Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila, along with Ashely Olsen and Rosario Dawson joined some 7,000 New Yorkers to watch the polo match.
But, all eyes were on Nacho.
Unfortunately, Nacho was unable to play due to a serious polo injury a few weeks ago. But, he hopes his growing fame here in America helps to bring the sport to the masses.
“My mission in life is to bring awareness to the sport and make it more popular,” reveals the polo champ to Healthy Hollywood.
Nacho realizes polo is thought to be an elitist game, but he tells me it’s an athletic event that can be enjoyed by all. “Polo is a great sport because it has all the ingredients that a sports needs to be amazing. It has horses. It has speed. It requires talent and eye-hand coordination. Plus, there’s an adrenaline rush; so it has the ingredients a sport needs.”
Now 36, he’s been playing since the age of 8 and turned pro at 17 and credits his success to lots of hard work. After all, Nacho grew up in very a humble middle class family and had no connection to the masters of the universe. “You need to be a great rider first and foremost. You need to be very committed and work very hard.”
While it will be another 10 weeks before Nacho is fully recovered and able to get back on a horse, he tells Healthy Hollywood there is a very special player riding in this place. His 13-year-old son, Hilario, made his debut polo match on Nacho’s Black Watch team.
“I told him to have fun today. He’s very young. He’s going to have enough time in life to be pressured. So, there’s no pressure, just have fun.”
-- Terri MacLeod