Top 10 Olympic Men who should be in Romance Novels by Jessie Smith
Every great romance novel needs a memorable hero and this year’s Winter Olympics was full of inspiration. Olympic men have chiseled bodies, spirits of champions and hearts of gold (or silver or bronze). The mainstream media might have focused on Michael Phelps’ neck strain from wearing 22 Olympic medals or what Usain Bolt can do in less than 10 seconds but these ten men deserve a bright spotlight:
Phelps might have the most gold and Ryan might have the infamous teeth grill but Nathan Adrian won gold by 0.01 seconds in the 100m freestyle race. Surrounded by alphas but armed with talent and a heartwarming smile, Nathan has my vote for the best beta hero.
Four years ago Liu was promoted as the favorite to win gold in his homeland so imagine everyone’s sour reaction to his loss from an Achilles’ heel injury. Now promoted as the comeback kid, the same injury stuck him again as he failed to clear the 1st hurdle. Perhaps sensing that this could be his final swan song, he hopped on one leg to finish the race, stopping at his lane’s last hurdle for a symbolic kiss goodbye and then was helped across the finish line by his fellow athletics. This is a man with high expectations from his country, a huge fall from grace, a battle back to the track and a memorable (unofficial) finish in this year’s Olympics. Everyone gets knocked down but Liu has gotten up twice and I hope to see him again on the track someday.
8) Tom Daley (Great Britain)
Every time this guy entered a room, the entire audience erupted in applause. Viewers got the quasi-sense that they were experiencing the Beatles. I must admit that even though this youngest needs about ten more years to be the leading hero in my story, I got bite with the media hype enough to want to see him as a sidekick.
7) David Boudia (USA)
David is the first American to win gold in individual diving since Greg Lougan in 1988. Plus, he took bronze with his partner in synchronized diving. These are all his official accolades so I don’t sound totally superficial when I say he made this list for having the most amazing dimples. Since I went there, I might also say that I dare you not to watch men’s diving and ponder why there isn’t a wardrobe malfunction with every dive.
Whether or not you believe his prosthetic legs give him an advantage in running races, you have to admire this “Blade Runner” for his pursuit to just be able to run with other athletes. Romance novels need heroes who never give up after life gives them obstacles.
2) Rowan Atkinson
Alright, he’s not an Olympian but he was the star of the opening ceremonies. The world might remember the ceremonies for Queen Elizabeth’s helicopter ride with James Bond but Mr. Bean’s race across the sand stole the show. If you missed it, cross your fingers that youtube won’t delete this clip before you have a chance to view it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4HvblAzGd0
What did you do when you were 19? Kirani James won Grenada’s 1st Gold Medal. He has the weight of his country on his shoulders and so far, he’s not buckling under the pressure. He has taken his talents as a way to show pride in his nation and is humble about the accolades. USA is proud of our Olympians but only Grenada declared a national holiday the day James won his gold medal. While he could have allowed the spotlight to shine on him and him only, he took that moment to make a statement about the elephant in the room. Oscar Pistorius, with double amputee status, was a source of contention in the Olympics, as people implied that his prosthetics gave him an unfair advantage in the race. After shaking hands with his fellow competitors, Kirani shared his Olympic moment with the person who finished the race last, Oscar, by exchanging name bibs and showing the world that all competitors were welcome on the track. “It’s what the Olympics is all about,” Pistorius said of the moment. See for yourself why Kirani is #1 on my list: http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/track-and-field/highlights-oscar-pistorius-bows-out-in-400m-semifinals.html
With yesterday’s closing ceremonies, our televisions will go back to regularly scheduled programs and our Olympians will return to their home countries. As much as I can’t wait for the Winter Olympics in Russia and the next batch of athletic heroes, I hope these men have more chapters in their lives… so start writing those books :-)