Luckily, no one expects “journalistic objectivity” in a blog called “Olympic Stud of the Day,” because watching last night’s women’s gymnastics all-around competition, I was about as objective as Bela Karolyi. I was rooting for Shawn Johnson, largely because I think I could talk to her if we were stuck together at an airport. We’d talk about how really, if you need to say you live a normal life, you don’t. (We’d also talk about whether she was on a date, like that radio deejay said. About whether people will actually go visit Des Moines just because she’s from there. About what would have happened to that sculpture of her in butter.) I have no idea how Nastia Liukin (pictured) and I would pass the time…. Maybe chatting about her decision to wear a pink leotard rather than a red, white, or blue one? (I know that shouldn’t bother me, but it kinda did.) All that said, Liukin deserved the gold (and Stud of the Day title) for making her stuck landings on the vault and beam as beautiful as her bars routine.
Other contenders: Belgian beach volleyball players Liesbeth Mouha and Liesbet van Breedam, who almost pulled off an upset against the U.S. golden girls, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. (How incredible was that first set?) Mouha and van Breedam had to beg their Olympic committee to even send them to Beijing when they qualified 13th. Then there’s U.S. swimmer Rebecca Soni, who did upset Australia’s Leisel Jones in the 200M breaststroke. That finish was almost as exciting as Jason Lezak’s in the 4X100M freestyle relay. And finally, we’ve got Michael Phelps, who earned his sixth gold at Beijing for the 200M individual medley — then got a rubdown (which I may have rewound) — before taking to the pool again. Milorad Cavic, an American representing his parents’ homeland, Serbia, could be trouble for Phelps in the 100M butterfly. But you know, I’m suddenly twice as excited to watch that final.
Nominate your own Olympic Stud of the Day* — or second ours — below. (And click here to check out our winning Studs from the previous days in Beijing.)
* Not just a man or woman who turns us on. (Necessarily.)