Every Olympic season, a small handful of athletes capture the hearts, and minds, and libido of the world. A few young athletes rise as stars of the games and viewers praise their accomplishments publicly while privately discussing their sexual attractiveness with friends. Sometimes it is inappropriate and frankly illegal, like Shawn Johnson in 2008. Sometimes it captures a new cultural fad, like the slightly emo look of the 2010 Danish Women’s Curling skip, Madeleine Dupont. Sometimes a personality shines so big that you cannot help but become enamored, like gymnast Paul Hamm in 2004.
As the first weekend of competition comes to a close, I offer you the top 5 U.S. Hottie Hopefuls for the XXX Olympiad (not a sexual reference, XXX is the roman numeral for this Olympiad).
#5) Destinee Hooker- A major component to becoming the heart-throb of an Olympics comes from dominating a sport. Perfection and dominance in any endeavor is attractive, but dominating the world in a sport can be hotter than a grease fire in August. Hooker jumps off the screen, pun intended, as an early Hottie Hopeful due to her 42 inch vertical jump and impressive skill set. This combination makes her the most dominant player on the number one team in the world- hot. Although she lacks some technically ability, she is simply the best athlete on the court. Combine this with her long sleek figure, her appearance in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, and the low hanging fruit for name based puns, it is no trick that Hooker makes this list.
#4) Danell Leyva- Leyva anchors a strong U.S. Gymnastics team in London. Leyva meets the requirement of being one of the best in the sport and also takes it easy on the eyes. Leyva edges out teammate Jake Dalton for the number four spot on our list because Leyva does not have the usual top-heavy look of a male gymnast that Dalton features. Leyva sports a more universally appealing chiseled sleek look. Even the most skilled Where’s Waldo player would be hard pressed to find gram of body fat on Leyva. Leyva also benefits from the strong and dark facial features he gets from his Cuban heritage. Also seen in The Body Issue, look for this firecracker’s explosive body to turn some heads in London.
#3) Lolo Jones- Although Jones sits on the outside looking in to bring home a hurdles gold in London, with a major upset, she could easily be the heart-throb of 2012. Jones has all of the calling cards of an Olympic Hottie. She has a cutesy name in Lolo, she has a smile that could light any room in London, even if Ron Weasley took out his Deluminator, and she bares a striking resemblance to Rashida Jones, no relation. But before you fully enjoy ogling the athlete who made waves claiming that saving her virginity for marriage is harder than training for the Olympics, you should know how truly amazing her story is. Now making most of her living through endorsements and modeling, she spent her childhood stealing TV dinners so her siblings could have enough to eat in the basement of the Salvation Army. Check out the story here, and this moment on Leno with Louis CK.
#2) Ryan Lochte- Already donning the gold medal, the Lochte Hottie is a forgone conclusion. Lochte sits poised to be the Michael Phelps of this Olympics but a Michael Phelps who looks like the next star of a Bourne movie, not one who looks like a walking jawbone with a face attached to it. Lochte’s smirking smile leads to his adorable dimples in a way that makes him look energetic with the joy of youth, but also mischievous as a grown man who has seen a lot. His deep-set eyes draw in the viewer to his, dare I say, golden personality. Aside from Archery and shot putt, most Olympic bodies are things to behold, but Lochte has the added benefit of being constantly glistening wet. I think I can safely break the news here, America’s hearts are already throbbing for Ryan Lochte.
#1)Race Imboden- Edging out Lochte for the number one spot on our list is Race Imboden, the best athlete on the U.S. Olympic Fencing team. The 19 year old prodigy ranks first on our Hottie Hopeful list for one reason, he is the perfect hottie. You cannot see Imboden, thought his fencing equipment which makes him a sex symbol anyone can enjoy. The viewer can imagine him (or her if you are so inclined) to be anything. He can have a strong jaw with rough stubble, or be a lovable man child with boyish features. He can be whatever your heart desires as long as you do what we as American fans do best: to sexually objectify athletes because they are young, fit, and the flavor of the month.
Revere athletes for athletics.