- Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 09:50
- Written by Robert Byrne
The London Olympics have kicked off in an unusually sun-drenched London and will certainly have got some of the spectators hot and bothered.
If, like me, you tend to watch most Olympic sports on account of how attractive the participants are, you won’t be let down.
Things were looking worrying heading into the tournament, with a recent rule change meaning that Beach Volleyball, the sport that saves men a sweaty trip to the beach, would allow women to wear shorts and sleeved tops.
However, in the opening round, duos from Spain and the Netherlands donned bikinis in front of a somewhat raucous crowd, who had been worked into a frenzy earlier by some suggestive cheerleading. Needless to say, Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez of Spain were well supported.
One enthusiastic spectator commented, "There's alcohol, there are ladies - it's all good. My wife was supposed to come but unfortunately she's had to go to a hen-do, so I've brought my friend along and he's quite pleased."
It seems that some sports are almost certain to have aesthetically pleasing competitors. Science tells us that every sport requires athletes of a certain body shape. There is the ectomorph, the Peter Crouch’s of this world who are better suited to marathon running, triathlons, rhythmic gymnastics and basketball.
Then you have the endomorph – heavier set athletes who suit wrestling, discus, the hammer-throw and shot-put. Somewhere in the middle is the mesomorph – those lucky individuals who are naturally muscular with low body fat, who are suited to weightlifting, boxing, cycling, sprint events and artistic gymnastics.
But it’s worth remembering that these are not hard and fast divisions. Consider Usain Bolt. He would probably be somewhere between an Ectomorph (standing at 1.96m) and a mesomorph given his muscular physique. Too tall to be a sprinter? Obviously not.
Generally speaking, Olympians have trained their body to the absolute physical peak. For an ectomorph this is rarely ever easy on the viewer’s eye. Paula Radcliffe is the case in point, even when she’s not squatting over a pavement.
So, where can you find the cream of the crop? According to scientists, the fittest athletes overall are gymnasts. Females are typically small, slim and have a high strength-to-muscle ratio. Their body must also be supple and narrow to allow for bends and moves. I like the Italians.
Perhaps the most eye-catching performers so far have been the female Argentinian hockey team. Not only are they incredibly quick and nimble (as the South African side will attest to after a 7-1 thrashing), but they are also pretty easy on the eye.
‘Las Leonas’, as they are known, are led by the very tidy (both on and off the field) Luciana Aymar, or ‘El Diego’ on account of her incredible dribbling skills. I’ll leave the Google search to you.