CELEBRATION, Fla. — Between grand marshaling the Magic Kingdom parade and appearing as a special guest on the ESPN Club's Sports Talk Live, 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion Kevin VanDam, along with his wife Sherry and 8-year-old twin sons Nicholas and Jackson, had an eventful week at the most magical place on earth.
"Our sport has grown so much and this just shows where we're going," said VanDam, a 10-time BASS winner and two-time CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion.
Last week, the VanDams were honored by Walt Disney World Resort in the Magic Kingdom as they grand marshaled the parade with the entire cast of Disney characters down Mainstreet, USA. Wearing embroidered mouse ears with their names and waving wildly to fans, the VanDams happily led the parade.
"The boys, Kevin and I had a wonderful time being the guests of honor during the Walt Disney World parade in the Magic Kingdom," said Sherry. "It was a once in a lifetime experience that we all enjoyed and appreciated very much.
"It was cool!" added Jackson.
Later in the evening, Kevin and his family were treated to a special night of dining and celebration at the ESPN Club on Disney's Boardwalk.
The club, which has hosted numerous sports stars from around the world, now adds the Bassmaster Classic champion to the list of greats sharing the stage for Sports Talk Live, an interactive dining experience where guests ask athletes questions.
"This was definitely really cool," said Kevin. "All of the questions were great and I had a really good time."
VanDam and his family also toured BASS headquarters in Celebration, Fla. and enjoyed Disney's theme parks, soaking in the magic. After a busy and well-received week, Kevin summed up his experience by saying, "This is truly the greatest place on earth."