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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

5 Bravolebs You Didn't Know Were Major Athletes

Did you know these Bravolebs went pro?

By Laura Rosenfeld
Kelly and Sonja and Horses

Bravolebs aren't just hugely successful in their respective fields; they also have many hidden talents. That was never more apparent than when we discovered that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills regular Mohamed Hadid competed in speed skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.

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But then again, Bravo has long had many connections to well-known sports stars, including Don't Be Tardy's Kroy Biermann, who just signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills after playing as a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons for eight seasons.

All of this got us wondering if any other Bravolebs dominated the court, track, or field before they found fame on TV. Well, they did, and their athletic achievements will make you stand up and cheer. You might even feel inclined to do the wave.

1. Kelly Killoren Bensimon

True love 🐎

A photo posted by Kelly Killoren Bensimon (@kellybensimon) on


Kelly Killoren Bensimon doesn't just show off her athletic skills while running in the streets of Manhattan. The Real Housewives of New York City alum has been an equestrian, and she still rides in shows like the Hampton Classic today. 

2. Ben Tankard


Ben Tankard's diverse resume includes everything from ministry to gospel jazz to piloting planes. But Ben's life before Thicker Than Water was quite different as he pursued a career as a pro basketball player in the NBA. Unfortunately, Ben got injured in camp with the Portland Trail Blazers, so he had to say goodbye to the sport. But always one to find the silver lining in every situation, Ben now mentors other men hoping to make it big in basketball. 

3. Rocky Dakota

boing 🐬

A video posted by r o c k y ✌️💛☀️💃🏼 (@raqueldakota) on

From watching Season 3 of Below Deck, it was clear to see that Rocky Dakota was born to be in the water. She was the Eros' resident mermaid, after all. And it's no wonder she slayed the competition during that diving contest among the crew, considering the fact that she used to be a competitive diver at the national level. And yes, you can still find Rocky diving off of yachts today. 

4. Annabelle Neilson


We thought Annabelle Neilson was absolutely fierce from the moment we first met her on Ladies of London. But then she let us into her training regimen to prep for a charity riding event, and we were blown away by her athleticism. Annabelle was actually an equestrian for a lot of her life, riding from age 4 to 16. Though a scary horseback riding accident left Annabelle with a broken pelvis, as we saw during Season 1 of Ladies of London, she literally got back on the horse earlier this year, and she's never looked better. 

5. Holly Rilinger

#tbt #ballin #dishtherock #igotmadhops #jmudukes

A photo posted by Holly Rilinger (@hollyrilinger) on


Holly Rilinger is one of the most in-demand trainers in New York City. Since the Work Out New York star achieved feats like becoming the all-time leading scorer on James Madison University's women's basketball team before playing pro internationally, who wouldn't want Holly to coach them to greatness?

What other Bravolebs have a hidden sporty side? Find out, below.

The Bravo Athletes
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