December 2, 1974|
Mission, Kansas, United States
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
|Notable works||The Beckham Experiment|
Grant Wahl (born December 2, 1974 in Mission, Kansas) is an American sports journalist who is best known for being a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a correspondent for FOX Sports. He is also the author of the controversial book, The Beckham Experiment.
During his first year at Princeton University, Wahl covered the Princeton Tigers men's soccer team, then coached by Bob Bradley, who would go on to manage Major League Soccer teams and the United States men's national soccer team. Bradley provided Wahl with an opportunity to study abroad in Argentina, spending time with Boca Juniors, before returning to the United States for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Wahl cites his experiences with Bradley as a catalyst for his love of the sport.
In 1996, Wahl began his career working with the Miami Herald as an intern. From there, he joined Sports Illustrated in November 1996, covering college basketball as well as soccer. By October 2000, he was promoted to the position of senior writer. Wahl mostly covers soccer for both the magazine and SI.com. In 2013, SI launched their soccer section, named "Planet Fútbol", with Wahl at the helm.
He first gained critical acclaim for his 1998 cover story Where's Daddy?, which documented the growing number of illegitimate children born to professional athletes. Since then, he has written numerous cover stories and profiles on athletes. In addition, Wahl has received four Magazine Story of the Year awards given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Wahl published his first book, The Beckham Experiment, in 2009. The book focused on the move of David Beckham to the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer and his impact on the league. It became a New York Times Best Seller.
While covering the fourth round of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification in October 2009, Wahl was robbed of his phone and wallet at gunpoint in broad daylight in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; earlier in the day, he had interviewed interim Honduran president Roberto Micheletti, who later apologized to Wahl over the incident.
In February 2011, Wahl announced a possible bid to become President of FIFA in the upcoming election to unseat incumbent Sepp Blatter, but pulled out before the official deadline after failing to earn the endorsement of a football association. As a result of Wahl's bid, FIFA amended its presidential nomination process by requiring the endorsement of five associations.
Wahl was born in 1974 in Mission, Kansas. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School, then went on to study at Princeton University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics in 1996. Wahl is married to wife, Celine. He is an Eagle Scout.