Grant Wahl
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> BIOGRAPHY

Grant Wahl is the leading soccer journalist in the United States. Comfortable writing longform and shortform and appearing in front of the camera, Wahl joined SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in November 1996 as a reporter and was promoted to his current position of senior writer in October 2000. He began his journalism career as an intern with the Miami Herald in 1996.

Wahl has covered seven World Cups (four men's, three women's) and four Olympics for SI. Some of his most notable stories include The World's Team (about FC Barcelona) and lengthy stories on David Beckham, Alex Morgan, José Mourinho, Didier Drogba, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Wahl first won critical praise for his work (with Jon Wertheim) on the 1998 cover story Where's Daddy?, which documented the staggering number of out-of-wedlock children born to professional athletes. On his previous beat covering college basketball, he won four Magazine Story of the Year awards given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

When he isn't traveling for SI, Wahl spends his time cooking, reading, running, watching movies and traveling with his wife, Celine. He is conversational in Spanish.

Wahl, 39, grew up in Mission, KS, and attended Princeton University, where he graduated with a B.A. in politics in 1996. Wahl's first book, The Beckham Experiment (Crown, 2009), was the first soccer book ever to become a New York Times bestseller.

EXTRA POINTS

  • Favorite SI Vault story: Ahead of His Class (Feb. 18, 2002) by Grant Wahl. "LeBron James's first SI cover story (as a high school junior). Props to former SI senior editor Greg Kelly for coming up with the cover line (THE CHOSEN ONE) that LeBron eventually got as a tattoo; LeBron and his friends piled into my rental car (he even brought his binder full of CDs) and we drove from Akron to Cleveland to see Michael Jordan hit the last-second game winner for the Wizards; won't ever forget the look on LeBron's face at the McDonald's drive thru when I told him, ‘You know, this has a chance of getting on the cover.' Two weeks later it did."
  • Writers who have inspired your work: "Entire staff of SI, especially Steve Rushin, S.L. Price, Alex Wolff, Jon Wertheim, Gary Smith. Also: Gloria Emerson, David Remnick, David Foster Wallace, Jon Lee Anderson, and Frank Rich."
  • Most Memorable SI project: Where's Daddy? (with Jon Wertheim). "SI's editors trusted a couple of punks in their early 20s to write a major story that went beyond sports; one of my best memories in journalism will always be the 10 days Jon and I holed up in a tiny SI office and wrote this."
  • The greatest team you have seen in person: The Florida men's basketball team 2006-07, with the emphasis on team.

Updated July 2, 2013

> GRANT WAHL AT THE WORLD CUP

worldcup.si.com

 
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