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:

 10) Nathan Adrian (USA):

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.


 9) Liu Xiang (China)

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.


 6) Galen Rupp (USA)
As an Oregonian, I had to make sure that one of our boys made this list. As the silver medalist in the 10,000 meters, his victory celebration with the gold medalist, Mo Farah, who also happens to be his running partner, ensured his guarantee on this list. The look of sheer joy on their faces, after winning this event, is what the Olympics are all about for me.
5) Oscar Pistorius (South Africa)

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.

 4) Ashton Eaton or Trey Hardee (USA)
Take your pick on who you believe is the “Greatest Athlete in the World” as they took the 1-2 positions in this year’s decathlon. Eaton wins bonus points for his P&G commercial thanking his mother but the 6’5, 210 pound Trey Hardee makes my knees weak.  Once fierce competitors, now teammates, I can’t be the only woman who thinks they should be the heroes in the next love triangle for one lucky lady
3) Lordan Lovtchev (Bulgaria)
The US provided viewers with plenty of eye candy on their men’s gymnastics’ team and I could have selected any of them for this list until I got a glimpse of Lordan, the 39 year old gymnast, making his historic 6th appearance at the Olympics. Representing Bulgaria, he stood little chance to medal but his appearance highlighted his cause to raise two million dollars to build a gym in his homeland so that young Bulgarian athletics could have their chance to complete in the future. A man with vision and passion makes a compelling romance hero.

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:

1) Kirani James (Grenada)

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:

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 🙂


About Jessie Smith

Health Care Worker by Day, Aspiring Author by Night and 24/7 Staff for Riley (Corgie/Tibetan Spaniel Mix)

Posted on August 18, 2012, in Auth: Jessie Smith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I wonder if I can post this image link: What a great photo of Galen.


  2. Hi Maggie – Thank you!
    Hi Marie – These men are all google worthy 🙂


  3. Loved it; you present some compelling arguments for their inclusion in romantic novels. We all have our own list of “heroes” from the Olympics but you made me curious about some of the guys I hadn’t seen and will look up. 🙂


  4. Loved all of these. You have a good eye, and a good head. Thanks!


  5. Hi Lauren – Thank you! I remember David from the last Olympics and 4 years was a long wait to see him again….

    Hi Susan – Good word choice!

    Hi Alison – The great thing about the Olympics, it will happen again 🙂

    Hi Jessa – LOL Perhaps I was intentionally vague 🙂


  6. Well, you DO have an eye for heroes, don’t you? But where were Boudia’s dimples? I got distracted…


  7. Well, I didn’t watch the Olympics, but now I wish I had – I missed all these gorgeous guys!! Great wrap up Jessie, you should be a special correspondent for Romance Times Olympic Edition.


  8. All I can say is…yum 😀


  9. Great job, Jess, in narrowing down such an amazing line up of athletes and heros! I don’t know how you were able to sort through them all to come up with your list, but I agree with all of your choices! Though, I may have put Boudia last, as it was really hard to stop starring at his abs and look at the rest of the list. :p


  10. Thank you Sarah! There was many fine men to pick from 🙂


  11. I love your list of Olympic heroes and your reasons for choosing these outstanding young men! Excellent post, Jessie.


  12. Hi Paty! I’m glad to be wrong – I’m thrilled that US had so many athletics from Oregon.

    Hi Debbie – I’m so grateful for my DirecTV recording space so I could tape everything and fast forward the commercials 🙂

    Hi Vergielyn – He was *awesome*

    Thanks for the posts


  13. Awesome line up. I didn’t get to watch much of the Olympics so seeing them lined up (at least the pretty ones) was great and seeing their accomplishments written out. Thanks


  14. I’ll admit, I loved the men’s diving and it wasn’t for the dives!! There were some good looking bodies on those platforms. Great wrap up of Olympic heroes! And Ashton Eaton is from Bend. So he was a local boy.


  1. Pingback: Top 10 Olympic Men who should be in Romance Novels | See Jane Publish

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