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Identical twin brothers, Bob and Mike Bryan, grew up without a television. In order to catch the Olympics, they had to go to their father’s tennis club. Ever since then, the Bryans have had the Olympics as their goal. “When we were very little, we made a list of goals for ourselves and put the list on our refrigerator,” Bob says. “One of these goals was to win a gold medal in the Olympics when we grew up.”
Born to a former Women’s Tennis Association mother and former tennis instructor father, you could say tennis was in the brothers’ blood. In fact, the Bryans won their first doubles tournament at age 6. As young kids, the Bryans were always together. As such, their parents never even allowed them to compete against each other. Bob, who is left handed, and Mike, who is right handed, work together as equal parts to form a whole.
SPORT: Tennis – Doubles
BORN: April 29, 1978
HOMETOWN: Wesley Chapel, FL
HEIGHT: 6 ft 4 in (Bob), 6 ft 3 in (Mike)
WEIGHT: 195 lb. (Bob), 185 lb. (Mike)
COLLEGE: Stanford University
OLYMPIC MEDALS: Two-time Olympic medalists (gold and bronze)
OTHER TITLES/NOTABLE WINS: All-time winningest doubles team in the Open Era with 112 team titles, only doubles team in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam title at least twice, one or more major in 10 straight seasons (2005-14) and hold all four major titles at the same time
FAVORITE TAPE COLOR: beige (Bob), red (Mike)
FAVORITE TAPE APPLICATION: Tennis Elbow (Bob), Scapular Retraction (Mike)
In 1996, Mike and Bob began attending Stanford University and won the NCAA title their freshman and sophomore years before turning pro. “Our two years at Stanford were the best two years of our lives,” Bob says.
Since then, the Bryans have won every major doubles titles in tennis including 16 Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. The Bryan Brothers are easily the most successful doubles duo of all time. In addition to being talented tennis players, they are also talented musicians and have their own band called The Bryan Brothers Band. Bob plays keyboard and bass and Mike plays lead guitar and drums.
In 2012, their only goal was to win the gold medal at the London Games. “After winning the gold, we took our medals with us everywhere and kept them in our tennis bags,” Mike says. “So many people wanted to hold the gold medal and take a picture with it.”
Just prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the Bryans withdrew citing health issues. Missing the Olympics was a difficult decision but their families and their families’ health was a priority. They now look forward to training again and hope to compete for one more gold medal in 2020.