Phelps, schmelps — as much as I love watching lithe bodies slice the water via the under-the-pool cam, for me, there’s little that makes me gawk so much as the men’s gymnastics. (Oh, and I’m totally joking about Phelps — he’s truly a Titan among mere titans.) But China’s incredible Yang Wei (pictured, left), a superstar in Asia, won the men’s gymnastics all-around Olympic title last night, finally getting his hands on the gold medal that has eluded him for eight years. The 28-year-old hunk finished with 94.575 points, nearly three points ahead of Kohei Uchimura of Japan (silver) and Benoit Caranobe of France (bronze). Yang didn’t even bother waiting for his marks on the high bar, his final event, leaping onto the podium and thrusting his fists in the air while the crowd went bananas. There’s something mesmerizing about the way Yang flips over the still rings and holds his poses, like he was more bird (well, a very strong bird) than man. And those muscles! Maybe not the biggest on the block, but just fine for this gal.
Honorable mention must go to Zhang Liang (pictured, right), the Chinese rower and gold-medal hopeful who somehow missed (!) his race on Saturday. (Dawdling with groupies? Shaking off Friday’s night’s hangover?) The director of China’s water sports governing body told reporters that Zhang thought he was supposed to be in the next heat, thus missing his shot at glory by ten minutes (ouch!). Ten minutes, people. Because of this, Zhang was also disqualified from the men’s double sculls event that followed later in the day, and cost his teammate the opportunity to qualify as well (double ouch!). In a culture that indoctrinates children as young as six into the Olympic way of life, this is big, bad news for Zhang, so the least we could do is give the 6′ 4" champ a little love on PopWatch.
Now it’s your turn: Nominate your own Olympic Stud of the Day* — or second ours — below. (Then click here to check out our winning Studs from the previous days in Beijing.)
* Not just a man or woman who turns us on. (Necessarily.)
addCredit(“Nick Laham/Getty Images; Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images”)