Fri, September 20, 2013

Dutch field hockey players get gold for good looks

By THANE BURNETT, QMI Agency


Netherlands' team players celebrate winning against New Zealand during their women's semifinal hockey match at the Riverbank Arena at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 8, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON - Even before going into Friday’s final, reigning Olympic champs, the Dutch women’s field hockey team, have been awarded gold here.

And silver and bronze and red ribbons and thumbs up and an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize and your dad just stepped in to offer up the camp swimming trophy you won when you were eight years old.

Every Games, images of one athlete moves ahead to become the hottest trading card — not because of their competing skills, but because of the way they look as they do it.

Canadian Kayaker Adam van Koeverden, even before winning silver here, was listed by Fox Sports among the sexiest athletes at London 2012, next to swimsuit model turned USA soccer star Alex Morgan, Italian actor and boxer Clemente Russo and others.

Russian long jumper Darya Klishina, American fencer Race Imboden and Italian volleyball player Francesca Piccinini, who posed nude in 2004 for a magazine, have turned heads and sent the Twitter-verse spinning.

And somewhere in your in-box is an email about Leryn Franco, the javelin thrower from Paraguay who, wouldn’t you know it, was runner-up for Miss Universe in 2006.

All fine distractions from Olympic judging controversies and split-second differences between first and second to cross the line.

They are athletes who — as most here do — combine beauty and substance.

And don’t pretend you aren’t admiring the fittest bodies on the planet.

But it is the combined hotness Richter scale of the entire field hockey team from the Netherlands who, if you weigh all the cyber evidence and talk on the street, seem to have been universally crowned the ‘Dutch treats’ of these Games.

After ten minutes of exertion, most humans look like they just crawled out of a washing machine.

These women look like Sports Illustrated models with mouth guards.

“The vast majority of the team has toned physiques but not vein-popping muscles,” noted the LA Times. “Let’s just say they represent their country in more than one way.” It only helps their cause that they’re really, really good at their sport, as they’ll likely prove again Friday when they battle No. 2 in the world, Argentina, for the real gold medal.

In the discussion of the team on one site, a poster from Holland simply concluded: “Besides being great at the game which is terribly difficult, they are eye-candy.”

Only a chosen few will leave these Games holding the precious medal of an Olympic victor, but the Dutch field hockey team won the genetics lottery from birth.

Thane.burnett@sunmedia.ca #thane.burnett