Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy 42nd Birthday Jackie Paraiso and Joy MacKenzie!

1966 was an auspicious year in sports. England hosted and won the World Cup. The Toronto Maple Leafs started the season that would see them win the Stanley Cup. The National Football League decided to hold the first Super Bowl at the end of the season.

And Mr. and Mrs. Paraiso welcomed Jackie and Joy into the world.

Joy, you're best known for your doubles play with Jackie, but you actually made your first appearance on Team USA in singles at the 1994 Pan American Championships (then the Tournament of Americas). You made seven more appearances with Team USA each of them in doubles with Jackie as your partner.

Perhaps the highlights of your international career are your gold medals from the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina, and the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg.

Domestically, you two won three U.S. women's doubles titles in 1994, 1997 and 1998. But Jackie has won eight other U.S. women's titles and four mixed titles. The women's titles were with Aimee Ruiz (in 2008 & 2007), Kim Russell (2002-2004), Laura Fenton (2000) and Michelle Gilman (1990 & 1991), and the mixed titles were with Jimmy Lowe (in 1997), Rocky Carson (1998) and twice with Joe Paraiso, in 1996 and 1999.

In addition to an enviable doubles record, Jackie has been one of most successful women's singles players in racquetball. You finished in the top 10 at season's end on the women's pro tour 16 times between 1986-87 and 2003-04, including three number 1 finishes in 1991-92, 1998-99, and 1999-2000.

Your best pro season was '98-'99, when you were in the finals of all seven events, winning six of them, including the 1998 US Open when you beat Christie Van Hees in three straight games. That success carried over to the 1999-2000 season, when you won four of the five tournaments and a second US Open. In those 11 finals over the two seasons, your won-loss record was 29 and 11.

Internationally, Jackie, you hold the record for most appearances on Team USA with 22 spanning an incredible 18 years. Your first appearance was in the 1990 World Championships playing doubles with Malia Bailey, and most recently last month in doubles with Aimee Ruiz at this year's World Championships.

More impressive, is that you've won gold in 21 of those 22 appearances, including all seven with Joy. The only blemish came at the 2003 Pan American Games, when you and Kim Russell lost 11-9 in the tie-breaker to the Mexican team of Susana Acosta and Rosy Torres.

Congratulations on two excellent racquetball careers, and happy birthday!

Tennis has the Williams sisters and Bryan brothers. Racquetball has you two.

1 comment:

Joy MacKenzie said...

Wow! I just read's two years old but better late than never. Thank you to whoever wrote this blog! Sometimes I think that I've been forgotten so it's nice to read about me years later. Maybe you will see me out on the courts again some day...I'm working on it.