GABRIELLE REECE is not only a volleyball legend, but an inspirational leader, New York Times bestselling author, wife, and mother. The former professional beach volleyball player and Nike’s first female spokeswoman is the definition of both athleticism and beauty.
EARLY YEARS |
Gabby was born in Southern
California and was raised in both New York and St Thomas. From 2-7 Gabby lived
with family friends in New York. She then lived on St Thomas with her
biological mother and step father until her teenage years. Gabby’s father
died in a plane crash when she was 4 years old.
It wasn’t until Gabby was moved to Florida in the eleventh grade, she was introduced to volleyball.
Gabby won an athletic scholarship to Florida State University where she played two seasons before accepting offers from the modeling world. Despite the demand of modeling and competing, Gabby set two school volleyball records for FSU that still stand today.
A Florida State star turned pro, Gabby trained hard to hone her skills in 2-person beach volleyball and competed domestically in the 1999-2000 Olympic 4 on 4 Challenge Series and the 1999-2000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. In 1997, competing with the best global beach volleyball players ever assembled, Gabby’s 4-person team took first place at the first-ever Beach Volleyball World Championships. 1997 was Gabby’s fifth season as team captain in the 4-person Women’s Beach Volleyball League (WBVL), and her fourth captaining Team Nike. Named the Offensive Player of the Year in 1994-95 and WBVL blocks leader, Gabby led the WBVL in kills four straight years in a row from 1993-1996.
In 1994 Gabby became Nike’s first female athlete to design a shoe, and Nike’s first-ever female cross-training spokesperson. Working with Tinker Hatfield, designer of the Air Jordan, Nike first launched Gabby’s shoe the Air Trainer, then the Air Patrol in 1995, the Air GR in 1997 and the Air GR II in 1998, and her shoe eventually became the first women’s shoe to outsellthe Air Jordan.
HEALTH AND FITNESS |
As a result of years of personal experience and experimentation for her relentless pursuit to elevate her own fitness led her to create her own unique fitness program HIGHX™ a high intensity group fitness program.
Shortly after HIGHX, together with husband Laird Hamilton, they created Extreme Performance Training XPT™. XPT is a unique and powerful fitness training and lifestyle program featuring their unique water workouts, performance breathing, recovery methods, and high-intensity and endurance training for people of all fitness levels and backgrounds.
Gabby’s most recent book, My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper (May 2013), quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. Gabby boldly shared her personal story of real-life ups and downs of motherhood and career in order to encourage women worldwide to challenge traditional norms and find personal happiness. Gabby’s challenge to feminist definitions of the modern women sparked huge media interest, resulting in appearances on The Today Show, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Live from the Couch, Dr. Oz, Katie Couric, E! Chelsea Lately, The Jeff Probst Show and The Better Show, to name a few, she was also co-host of The View and appeared on Access Hollywood.
Gabby’s health and fitness tips have appeared in Shape, Men’s Fitness, and Elle magazines. She has been a contributing editor for Yahoo Health, and has written for The Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
A charismatic speaker, in the spring of 2012, Gabby was invited to Washington, DC to speak at the annual TEDMED conference on innovations in health and medicine. Gabby also has an ongoing relationship with the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens, an initiative benefitting needy schools through the planting of organic gardens, by which she speaks to children about the importance of eating healthy and regular exercise (www.takepart/teachinggarden).
TV – FILM |
A pro in front of the camera as a TV host, early in her television program hosting career, she won a huge following by taking risks road-lugging, white water kayaking, drag racing, surfing, and sky diving on “MTV Sports” and “The Extremists with Gabrielle Reece” and later she was a commentator at the 1998 Goodwill Games. She has hosted ‘Insider Training’ on the Fit TV/Discovery channel, she was a featured host of ESPN and NBC’s “Gravity Games”, and in the spring of 2016, Gabby became the host of NBC’s new hit fitness competition series “STRONG,”.
She has regularly appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, the Ellen Degeneres Show and Chelsea Lately, as well as other top tier entertainment shows. She has also appeared in several feature films, where she played a pro beach volleyball player in ‘Cloud Nine’ with Bert Reynolds (2004), a guest star in ‘North Shore’ (2004) and as a physical trainer in the film ‘Gattica’ (1997).
WORLD CLASS MODEL |
Gabby began modeling in high school and throughout her college career. She traveled to New York and Italy in between competing and training. She was only a sophomore at Florida State University when Elle named her “One of The Five Most Beautiful Women in The World”. She has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for Women, Travel & Leisure Golf, Women’s Sports & Fitness, Outside, Elle, Shape, Self, Harpers’ Bazaar, Volleyball, Fitness, Life, Vogue, Experience Life and People, and has worked with the most elite photographers in the world.
When Women’s Sports & Fitness named Gabby one of the ‘20 Most Influential Women in Sports’ (August 1997) someone asked why they picked Gabby for the issue’s cover, and the magazine’s editor wrote, “Because I believe she represents, finally, the answer to all the image-questing pendulum swinging of the decades gone by. Who is the female athlete? She is everything once thought to be an inherent contradiction. She is strong and beautiful, sweaty and feminine, tough and ladylike.”
Gabby married the love of her life big wave surfer and waterman Laird Hamilton in 1997. They have 3 children (2 together) and reside in Kauai, HI and Malibu, CA.