Is Paraguayan Javelin Thrower Leryn Franco The Hottest Olympian?
In talking about the "hotness" factor of Paraguayan Olympic javelin thrower and model Leryn Franco, 30, one must look at the Olympics hotness controversy in the press, which often suggests that the "exotic" good looks of certain Olympian athletes either overshadow their raw abilities or are simply responsible for their popularity. At some point or another, women's soccer stars Hope Solo and Alex Morgan have both been accused of being famous for being attractive, as have Lolo Jones and even swimmer Ryan Lochte — though most of these athletes can back up their talents with solid data.
It's being argued that Franco, on the other hand, who finished in 51st place out of 52 competitors in the javelin throw at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, may be getting attention for reasons other than her throwing arm. Franco did pose in a bikini in a 2011 edition of Sports Illustrated (as did Solo and Morgan), and she has been ranked very high on a number of "Hottest Athlete" lists (including their own), according to Bleacher Report.
During the 2008 Olympics, Franco, whose modeling career gained momentum in 2006 when she placed runner-up in Miss Universo Paraguay, was the second-most searched athlete in the world on Yahoo, only behind Michael Phelps, reports BuzzFeed. Though she regularly places in the top three in South American Championship games, her Olympic record has been something of a different story.
However, in her 2012 London performance, Franco leapt a whole 17 spots to finish with a placement of 34 and a distance nearly 6m farther than her 2008 finish. Maybe it was all the bad press that motivated her.
"My career is my media," Franco told Efe, a Spanish news outlet, in addressing the matter of her looks versus her sports. "One can turn on the TV or look at a magazine and see me …. To qualify for London, the Olympics, is already a medal."
Check out this video of Leryn Franco here:
For more on the 2012 London Olympics:
EXCLUSIVE: Alex Morgan's Diet Tips For A Hot Body
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!