Athletes are hot, and other things we’ve learned this week


Last Friday, one billion people tuned in to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies. One billion. That is 15 percent of the world’s population!

Ever since I was a child I have been an Olympics junkie — one of those people who gets up at three a.m. to watch the USA women’s basketball team live. I love it all: the events, the medal ceremonies, the musical montages, the athletes who have trained their entire lives for a 9.7 second sprint. I love that look an athlete gets at the very second she wins or loses; it’s the most raw emotion in the world.

This year, the PR firms for various athletes have one goal in mind: they want us to see past the athleticism to the fact that these are — hang on, I’m going to quote the press release — “very sexy and beautiful people.”

So, if you, like me, are glued to your television for the next two weeks, I admonish you: while you’re thinking of these Olympians as athletes, try also to think of them as sexy. I know it will be hard.

Let’s practice.

When watching softball, don’t simply admire the 6-4-3 double play: allow yourself to think, “Nice smile!”

When watching swimming, don’t concentrate only on the backstroke technique: consider the biceps!

When watching basketball, don’t focus solely on Lisa Leslie‘s vertical: enjoy her forearms!

When watching field hockey, don’t spend the entire time looking up the rules on the internet: consider some triceps!

When watching beach volleyball, think past the standard set-and-spike coaching, and take in the tall, toned, half-naked, sweaty —

Um, I’m sorry, what was I saying?

Oh, right: I love the Olympics!

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