Tennis Ace Serena Williams Selects Her Match At Hollywood Event

Nancy O'Dell interviews Serena Williams at the Gatoraded G2 Everday Athlete Search in LA, Feb. 24, 2009 Nancy O'Dell interviews Serena Williams at the Gatoraded G2 Everday Athlete Search in LA, Feb. 24, 2009

Top ranked tennis player Serena Williams teamed up with Gatorade G2 this week at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel to select who will appear alongside her in a new national ad campaign. The ads, for Gatorade’s G2 low-calorie sports drink are designed around the theme “Everyday Athletes.”

Emceed by Access Hollywood’s own Nancy O’Dell, the G2 Everyday Athlete Search featured five semi-finalists — all named Serena — who traveled to the event from around the country to discuss their personal stories of how sports and exercise have helped them overcome a challenge or allowed them to reach and accomplish a significant, personal goal.

A casting panel consisting of Williams, and representatives from Shape Magazine and Gatorade G2 selected winner Serena Cuevas, 23, of San Diego, Calif. The panel was touched by Cuevas’ story of growing up with a passion to dance that was sidetracked by a horrific car accident at the age of 17. Doctors once told her she may never dance again.

With determination and passion, Cuevas recovered and went on to compete in national and international salsa competitions, as well as establishing her own dance company - Deseo Dance Company - in San Diego.

Cuevas will appear with Williams in the national ad campaign beginning this spring. The ads will help draw attention to the Gatorade brand’s broadened definition of what it means to be an athlete. If your body is moving, Gatorade considers you an athlete, the company says.

In addition to Serena Williams, G2 is also unveiling three more “everyday athlete” ads, featuring the NBA’s Kevin Garnett, WNBA’s Candace Parker, and Gold Medal Beach Volleyball star Kerri Walsh with their “everyday athlete” counterparts. Others are invited to share their own “everyday athlete” stories at missionG.com, the new sports and entertainment portal for Gatorade.

“Whether you are Serena Williams or Serena Cuevas, we all have it within us to achieve our dreams and goals, thanks to sports, exercise and being active,” said Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer for Gatorade. “This G2 campaign invites more consumers to see themselves as athletes while motivating them to be the best they can be.”

Along with winner Cuevas, the other semi-finalists who traveled to Hollywood to meet with Serena include Serena Marrero, 47, of Tillson, New York; Serena Lehman, 27, who resides in Seattle, Wash.; Serena Orgel, 34, from Brooklyn, New York; and Serena Martinez, 38, of Ventura, Calif.

To view the G2 Everyday Athlete Campaign, visit missionG.com.

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