Serena Williams’ achievements as an athlete are impressive, to say the least. Even just listing a couple of quick facts is enough to stop you in your tracks: She’s won 23 major singles titles, 14 major doubles titles, four Olympic medals and was ranked No. 1 in the world in women’s singles eight times between 2002 and 2017. And the list truly goes on and on.
The tennis champion has definitely earned her spot in the mix among the greatest athletes of all time, so it should come as no surprise that she’s receiving an honor that many top athletes have received: appearing on the cover of a Wheaties box.
The General Mills cereal’s slogan is “The Breakfast of Champions,” and top athletes have covered the boxes since 1934. It was truly a no-brainer when it came to selecting Williams to cover this year’s limited edition box.
“When we started to evaluate who our next athlete would be, we started to go through who we believe are the top athletes of our time,” General Mills’ Taylor Gessell said in a press release. “Serena was named an overwhelming amount of times.”
Williams is the second African-American female tennis player to cover the box, as Althea Gibson was given a spot on the box’s cover in 2001. In an Instagram post, Williams wrote about the achievement. “In 2001, Wheaties paid homage to a true champion and an icon by putting her on the cover of a Wheaties Box. Althea Gibson was the FIRST Black Woman tennis player to be on the box. Today, I am honored to be the second,” she wrote:
In a press release, Williams said she hopes this moment can inspire other girls and athletes to go after their goals.
“I am so excited to be on the cover of the next Wheaties box,” Williams said. “I have dreamt of this since I was a young woman, and it’s an honor to join the ranks of some of America’s most decorated athletes. I hope my image on this iconic orange box will inspire the next generation of girls and athletes to dream big.”
And it’s Williams inspiring actions on and off the court that helped land her this spot.
“She continues to inspire and spark change to make us all better,” Tiffani Daniels, marketing manager for Wheaties, said in the press release.
Gessell added, “She’s a mother, a very active entrepreneur, an activist, a fashion designer, and all of this while being one of the best tennis players in the world.”
In a Gatorade commercial, she gave some advice to her daughter, and it’s is a good reminder, no matter who you are. “Sometimes you’ll score a goal. Sometimes you won’t,” she said in the commercial. “But the goals you set, you’ll reach together. You’ll find the courage to stand tall, work harder and speak louder on whatever playing field you choose in life. So keep playing, my girl. Keep playing.”
You can watch the commercial on the Advertising TV YouTube channel:
On and off the court, Williams is achieving goals and encouraging others to do the same. The Wheaties cereal box featuring the athlete will be widely available across the U.S. throughout the next month. Be sure to get your hands on a box or two!