REUTERS today examines the growing trend of Olympians shedding their clothes and posing for the camera. The wire service not only provides you a lengthy list of sexy sports stars for you to throw into a Google image search (thank you, Reuters!), but they also examine how sex appeal is helping boost the popularity of niche sports and the hot athletes who play them.
(Pretty Paraguayan Olympian Leryn Franco poses provocatively for profit)
The story also introduces us to two-time Olympic javelin thrower Leryn Franco (pictured) of Paraguay who is able to fund her athletic endeavors through her second career as a model. Franco, who won herself many new fans after appearing in last night’s broadcast of the opening ceremonies, tells REUTERS “Modeling is a way for me to continue with my sport, the hours are flexible, and you can earn good money through photographic modeling and the catwalk.”
(Paraguay’s Franco marching in last night’s opening ceremony)
American Olympic swimmers Amanda Beard & Dara Torres, British athletes triple jumper Phillips Idowu, cyclist Rebecca Romero & swimmer Gregor Tait, and Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice are among the athletes who have either taken it all off or most of it off mentioned in the report.
Richard Deitsch, associate editor at SI.COM, says, “In this competitive marketplace you have to separate yourself from other athletes and the taboo of posing for Playboy or modeling has started to wane. People hardly batted an eyelid when Amanda Beard appeared in Playboy but 10 or 15 years ago this would have caused much more of an uproar in the (United) States.”
I agree with Deitsch, I definitely did not bat an eyelid at Beard’s PLAYBOY spread. I kept both eyes wide open.
I didn’t agree with everything the SI.COM staffer said, though:
“Ultimately it does not get away from the fact that you have to be an athlete first and a beauty second. But when you have someone who is fantastic at both, then you are looking at a global brand.”
I couldn’t tell you the rules of javelin throwing, nevermind know how good Ms. Franco is at doing it.
But I do know that I’m looking at a global brand when I see her. Whatever she’s selling, I’m buying.