Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympian to Silver Screen (Beefcake)

With the gymnastics portion of the Olympics completed I've started to lose interest. But as the games wind down I've been wondering: Will any of the Olympians get TV or movie gigs to go with this new rush of fame?

Some of you will be too young to remember the 1984 Olympics but basically what happened was that Russia didn't show (we traded Cold War based boycotts in '80 & '84) and the USA, without that formidable competition, were golden. America went even crazier than usual for the medalists. Mary Lou Retton became an instant household name and at least one of the 84 Olympians got a movie built up around him the way every standup comic eventually gets a sitcom named after themselves. That lucky gymnast was Mitch Gaylord (left) the "perfect 10" gymnast. He was beloved by everyone for a moment (especially everyone who beloves a little beefcake). Mitch's movie was called American Anthem. Remember that one?

It's a Bad Movie People Love. Janet Jones (his co-star aka Mrs. Wayne Gretzky) often looks like she's auditioning for Showgirls rather than doing floor routines and Mitch is content to just, well, be Mitch. He stares at other gymasts doing routines a lot. The camera ogles his musculature when it's offered up. There are worse things movies can do.

Gaylord starred in a few more cheapie movies, also torso focused, and now he hawks fitness products. None of America's subsequent gymnast champs have had movies built up around them that I can recall. But when I was watching diving events the other night I suddenly was obsessed with imagining a movie wherein Jamie Bell interprets Chris Colwill.

You can see it too, right? And no, it's not because that'd put Jamie in positions like this.

This isn't that kind of blog! (what. shut up!)

We might play more co-ed casting games when the Olympics wrap in a couple of days (Beijing 2008: The Movie! coming soon) but today let's keep it in that Gaylord realm and skip real actors altogether (Jamie Bell fantasies excepted of course). Which hunky athletes should have a quickie bad movie starring him or herself rushed into production? This is a random sampling. There's so many Olympians to choose from.

And I wonder. Would Phelps Phans rush to see a lazily scripted flick starring the super fast swimmer... or maybe the whole men's swim team?

It could be an On the Town type of three men lady-hunting comedy without the showtunes --- more of an At the Pool thing.

Would anyone pay to see that?


Anonymous said...

You forgot the french and german gimnasts... Benoit Caranobe and Fabian Hambuechen. But yes with those athletes, I want a film about Despatie. Jamie Bell playing Chris Conwell?... Good idea

Anonymous said...

No, I would pay to NOT see Michael Phelps ever again.

Anonymous said...

"convell"-Sorry it's Colvill.

"No, I would pay to NOT see Michael Phelps ever again".

Well, Phelps IS the man in this olympics games, so is possible a film about him, especially for his record. By the way, Phelps has good body but ugly face

Anonymous said...

Matthias Steiner, the German weight lifter who won the heavyweight class. Story of the games for me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Yang Wei. So hot.

For week 2, I suggest Bryan Clay.

Glenn Dunks said...

Considering we've seen much more of Jamie Bell already, I'm sure he'd have no issue spending an entire movie walking around in his cossies.

par3182 said...

it's so obvious - michael phelps as gomer pyle

and i'd love to see the jamaican men's 4x100 relay team in something (me)

Anonymous said...

I love Michael Phelps -- but I can't see him in a movie. Maybe it's my lack of imagination.

Jason Statham ("The Transporter", etc.) was apparently an Olympic diver for the UK. Although I guess he didn't win any medals, I still think it's a big deal to be an Olympic-calibre athelete. Statham is my current favorite action star. Actually I prefer him to James Bond - more likeable and accessible.

John T said...

You could put Phelps in a sequel to Crash and I'd still see it.

Glenn said...

Mathew Mitchem! Aussie gay diver who was the only one at Beijing to beat the Chinese to a medal! BIOPIC!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WHOA for Mitchell!!. The Aussie guy did the impossible, beat out the chinese in one of the most important chinese discipline in Olympic Games. For almost twenty years the chineses dominated diving but now... Unleast is an important record.


And you have to love that Mitcham is one of the only Out & proud olympians too. Wheeeee

Anonymous said...

Wow. I loved American Anthem. From the outdoor training center, to the angry distant dad, to the little brother's four wheeler accident to the synthesizer wielding redhead in the wheelchair, that movie was pure 80s gold (of the cheese variety)! Thank you so much for bringing it up.

Anonymous said...

I was going to champion Matt Mitchem but you guys beat me to it! Did you also know that his score was the highest diving score in the history of the Olympic Games!!!