For Tennis icon Venus Williams, the pandemic has been an adjustment period, particularly when it comes to competition on the court. Following the limited numbers of fans, or even none at all, in attendance over the last year, she said she looks forward to playing in front of crowds again.
"I think in the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of it was 'What am I preparing for? How do I prepare? What surface will I be on?' There were some things, for the first time in my life, there was not like this guiding light of this is when it will happen," Williams told Cheddar.
The tennis legend joined a host of other celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Michael B. Jordan, in backing the International WELL Building Institute, founded by the health and wellness real estate company Delos. As people look to return to some of their favorite events ranging from sporting events to concerts, the organization's WELL Health-Safety rating designates that a building or space took the proper steps and precautions to protect people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
WELL Health-Safety Rating seal. Source: Business Wire via The Associated Press
With people being very cautious about the spaces they enter as efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 continue, the WELL Health-Safety seal acts as a confidence booster for people on the edge about being around others.
"I'm excited to partner with Delos to ensure people that air quality will be up to standard and that they can be safe and feel safe and be able to go outdoors, go see concerts, and get back to the things we love," Williams said.
Health and wellness aren't the only priorities for the tennis legend, social justice and equality are just as important. With a new crop of players entering the pros every year, Williams said she is confident that they will continue to fight to make a change in the world.
Often outspoken on social issues, especially when it comes to equitable pay and treatment of women, Willams said she is inspired by the younger generation.
"It's wonderful to see that there are people willing, who can make a difference, willing to step up, speak up, and stand up for something and believe in something and help others to find hope and to find solutions," she said. "So it is comforting to know that whatever those next problems are we have a whole host of athletes who are willing to take that on."