Me and Björn Borg – A Love Story

When I was seven years old, I fell in love with Swedish tennis star, Björn Borg.

Being so young, I was not exactly sure why I had a wonderful warm sensation that tickled deep in my belly when I looked at him… but I do know that I really loved watching Borg play tennis.

My perplexed parents would wonder why their Canadian son, who was raised on hockey, but showed no interest in it, would sit for hours alone on the floor of our paneled rec room watching the French Open, US Open and, that Academy Awards of the tennis world, Wimbledon.  No one had any idea that I was completely enthralled by Borg and how happy I was to simply stare at him in his white tennis shorts and watch his long blonde hair flow down to his shoulders from under a red, white and blue headband that looked like a terrycloth halo encircling his head.

Borg looked like Thor on the court and played just the way you would expect the Valhalla god to play if one took his hammer and gave him a racquet in exchange.  Borg had powerful groundstrokes and a merciless doubled-fisted backhand so powerful that I thought I could feel the breeze from the racket on my face as I watched his golden Scandinavian body move against the green grass of Wimbledon.  From the back of the court, Borg would hit the ball hard and high and bring it down with an overwhelming top-spin,making it difficult for opponents to attack him and his great endurance and calm court demeanor earned him the nickname of the “Ice Man.”   And I could not take my eyes off him.

After the 1980 Wimbledon men’s singles finals when a calm and composed Borg won his fifth consecutive championship by beating the obnoxious John McEnroe, I asked my mother for a tennis lessons.  I thought that if I could became a good enough tennis player, maybe it would be possible to meet Borg.  I even fantasized that one day in the future, in matching ADIDAS tennis wear, I would be his doubles partner on that Wimbledon court.  I would grow my hair long like his and, together, we would be invincible.  However, the dream was dashed quickly and completely as my mother thought that tennis lessons were ridiculous.

“There isn’t even a tennis court in this part of town,” she had said.

But to make up for my shattered dreams, one Saturday after shopping with my aunt, my mother came home with one of the best gifts I ever received – a Björn Borg poster.

I taped that poster right over my bed where it would stay long after Borg had retired from tennis.  In fact, that poster was still hanging on my bedroom wall a few years later when I found myself having that same feeling deep my belly – but this time I had the feeling when I looked at Mark, another boy in my eighth-grade class, who also had a head of long flowing blond hair.  On that day I finally realized that this wonderful warm feeling that I had in my belly was love.  Under that poster of Borg, I sat terrified while my mind filled with black horrific images of what the ramifications would be for a boy who liked other boys.

Last Thanksgiving, I returned to my hometown.  My parents had long since converted my old bedroom into a dining room and, with my partner (and soon to be husband) beside me, we ate under where my Borg poster used to hang surrounded by family that love us.  Over dinner, I pointed to the wall behind me and told them the story about Björn Borg, the poster, and my first secret crush.  We all laughed and then my mother told me that they had recently built tennis courts at a new city park a few streets over.  And then she began telling us about the crush she had on Tab Hunter when she was a girl.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Me and Björn Borg – A Love Story

  1. Jonathan Joseph

    Hi Jeffrey – I can’t remember quite how I came across your story about Bjorn Borg, but I too fell absolutely head over heels in love with him when he first came over from Sweden to Wimbledon as a teenage boy. Girls were screaming at him wherever he went, because he was just so beautiful, and I wished I could be a girl and be out there as well – swooning over the loveliest boy I’d ever set eyes on – and likewise I, too, was asked to explain my sudden interest in tennis – fuck the tennis I thought, but dare not say so – I wasn’t watching him play tennis – I was being held by him in just such an amazing embrace with those amazingly powerful arms of his wrapped right round me, not serving a ball with a racquet – and I’m talking permanent erection here throughout every moment of every match – and then when he had won, he used to search me out and I’d feel his lips meet my own, and smell his body close to mine, and feel the sweat of his body through his shirt – and then he’d kiss me and I’d feel the stubble all over his face – I can tell you I was forever changing my underpants, and if you felt like you say you did, you must have been doing exactly the same as me – tell me how is it possible to have so many orgasms over a guy and yet he remains so completely oblivious – the bastard! – and you know I forgave him every time!! – I couldn’t help myself – he really was just the most beautiful guy I’d ever seen – luckily for me there have been others since – and Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t bad either – especially in Brokeback Mountain – I always carried a picture of Bjorn Borg round with me in my pocket all the time in those days – one just of his head and shoulders and his lovely handsome masculine face, framed with his long golden hair, smiling directly into mine – it helped me to feel good about myself – I certainly got it bad like you – I really did love the guy – and it was just brilliant to be able to tell myself that and to be able to enjoy that feeling of falling in love with another guy – there were no regrets – he helped me get to know myself better than anyone else did at the time – and I will always thank him for that – I was without a doubt 100% a poof – and he had made me feel absolutely over the moon about the fact that I was gay – I had never seen a guy I fancied more than I fancied Bjorn Borg – and I, too, had posters of him at my place – along with a lot of other posters of sportsmen to put people off the scent – who did I think I was kidding! – but ever since I was a boy, I was conscious that it was the sight and indeed the scent of men that turned me on big time – I had that same picture of Bjorn Borg as in your article and in my dreams my hands were forever going up those muscular legs of his and disappearing into those very short shorts of his that the poster made rather obvious – they certainly served to fuel my desire – and I went to heaven every single time – my hair was incredibly long at that time, too – and just about everyone I ever met thought I was a girl, and I assure you I did nothing to dispel the idea – I used to dream of meeting up with Bjorn Borg, and he’d tell me what a lovely girl I was, and he’d ask me on a date, and we’d go off into the sunset holding hands together – at that time I used to dress as a girl whenever I went out with a boyfriend anyway – it meant we escaped a lot of hostility and nastiness – things are different now – and now, like you, I’ve found the perfect guy – how good is that! – be good to hear from you.

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