The Olympic Games are time for countries from around the world to compete against each other in a wide variety of sports competitions to see who has the best athletes. Every four years (two, including the Winter Games), the best athletes from over 200 countries gather to battle it out in what’s considered to be the ultimate international sporting event.
But athletic ability isn’t the only thing that’s put on display during the Games. Olympians are some of the fittest people in the world, and, as such, the Olympics are also a time to see who has the hottest athletes in the world.
With the 2016 Olympics coming up, we thought we’d put together a list of the hottest athletes headed to Rio. During the Ancient Olympic Games, which were believed to have started way back in 776 BC, athletes competed wearing nothing more than loin cloths, and then eventually nothing at all. Too bad we’re no longer in ancient times. Just imagine how much more exciting these games would be, and how many more viewers would tune in, if these athletes competed in the buff. Just a thought.
25 Alex Morgan
US soccer player Alex Morgan is heading into the 2016 Rio Olympics with an already substantial fanbase. Following her team’s gold medal win at the 2012 London Olympics, which she played a huge role in assuring, Morgan became a big celebrity in America, and not just because of her athletic accomplishments. Morgan, who is 5’7” and plays forward for the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), is one of the most beautiful athletes in the world—scratch that, she’s one of the most beautiful women in general in the world. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s got a playful personality and isn’t shy about showing off her amazing athletic figure. Morgan can be seen prancing around in a tiny bikini and body paint, showing off her best assets (get it?) in a behind the scenes video for a photo shoot she did for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition. Do yourself a favor and look it up online. You won’t be disappointed.
24 Aly Raisman
Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes!!! Hoping that this is the start to an amazing summer. Looking forward to making some special memories as a 22 year old 😊 I'm spending my birthday working out twice today and going to bed early! Hopefully will have lots of celebrate about in September ;) #noregrets 👌🏻
If American gymnast Aly Raisman were to qualify for the Olympics in 2016, she would be the first gymnast from her country to appear in consecutive Olympics since 2000, when Dominique Dawes competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Like Dawes, Raisman helped her team win the overall gold medal. In individual competition, she won the gold medal in the floor exercise and the bronze medal in the balance beam. At just 22 years old, Raisman is one of the most decorated female gymnasts in American history.
She’s also mighty attractive. Often overshadowed by her fellow hot teammate McKayla Maroney, who stole the spotlight with her pouty face during the medal ceremony at the London Olympics, Raisman deserves recognition as one of the hottest athletes in the world. At 5’2” and 115 lbs., her toned physique looks as though it was carved out of stone. But words can only do her beauty so much justice. Make sure you check out her incredible (and revealing) photo shoot for ESPN Magazine.
23 Simone Biles
While Aly Raisman might be the hottest female gymnast in the world at the moment (especially so since McKayla Maroney announced her retirement from the sport earlier this year), 19 year-old Simone Biles of Columbus, Ohio, is undoubtedly the best. In fact, some are already calling her one of the greatest female gymnasts of all time. She holds the record for most World Championship gold medals with 10, and she has three overall World Championship wins to go along with her five overall United States national wins. Not too shabby considering she hasn’t even made an appearance at an Olympic Games, yet. But you can bet that she’ll dominate the competition in Rio.
At just 4’9”, Biles is easily the smallest athlete on this list, but don’t let her height fool you; she’s physically capable of doing things that a much larger person could only dream of.
22 Ali Krieger
Alex Morgan isn’t the only hot one from that gold medal winning 2012 US women’s soccer team. In fact, the team was filled with beautiful women (there are four members from that team on this list), including defender Ali Krieger, who was born in Alexandria, Virginia. Krieger played in Germany for FFC Frankfurt for five years before coming back to her home country to play for the Washington Spirit. At 31 years of age, she is a veteran of the national team and played a vital role in their 2015 FIFA World Cup championship. She also helped Washington Spirit set a record for most minutes (540) without letting up a goal.
Although she competed during the 2012 qualifiers, due to a serious knee injury Krieger was unable to participate in the London Olympics, so Rio will be her first time at the Games.
On top of her athletic accomplishments, Ali had one of the sexiest photo shoots ever put out by ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue.
21 Sally Pearson
For this spot on the list, we debated between two Australian track stars: 29 –year-old hurdler Sally Pearson and 22-year-old long jumper Brooke Stratton. They’re both beautiful, so you can’t go wrong with either one, but ultimately we decided to give the nod to Pearson because she's already had success at the Olympic level. Stratton, a relative newcomer, has yet to win a major event, whereas Pearson won the silver medal and the gold medal for the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, respectively.
Sprinters have some of the best bodies in all of sports, and Pearson is no exception. From the neck down, she has the body of an elite athlete—5’5” and 130 lbs., with ripped six-pack abs and muscular legs—yet from the neck up she looks like your typical Australian beauty with golden blonde hair.
20 Ashlyn Harris
It’s long been rumored that Ali Krieger and US National Women’s Team backup goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris are a romantic couple. That’s right. Let that sink in for a minute. Dubbed “Krashlyn,” these two, who are often photographed together off the pitch, have led many to draw the conclusion that they are more than just soccer teammates (although you could still say that they play for the same team).
Harris might not be the top goalkeeper on the US women’s soccer team but she is easily the hottest. Not to take anything away from Hope Solo (who, due to stiff competition, narrowly missed out on making this list), but we would love to see Harris get some more playing time at the 2016 Olympics, if only to see those gorgeous eyes and that platinum blonde head of hair out there on the pitch.
19 Aliya Mustafina
At just 21 years of age, Russian artistic gymnast Aliya Mustafina is already considered a veteran of her sport. She’s competed on the national stage for her country since 2007, taking home the gold on the uneven bars, the bronze for floor exercise and all-around, and the silver for team at the 2012 London Olympics. Her four medals made her the most decorated Olympian, not including swimmers, of either gender at the Games that year. Any medals that she might win in Rio would simply be icing on the cake of an already impressive career.
Like her American counterparts, Mustafina proves that gymnasts make some of the most beautiful athletes in the world. And as Kramer once said to Jerry: “A gymnast, Jerry. Think of the flexibility!”
18 Christen Press
Yet another member of that gold medal winning US Women’s National Soccer Team. This time we thought we’d take it in a different direction and go with someone who is perhaps more cute than sexy or hot (semantics, we know). Christen Press, who is 27 years old and hails from Los Angeles, California, is probably one of the more recognizable faces from that successful US women’s team—and the reason her face is so recognizable is because it happens to be pretty attractive. Her unique combination of talent and beauty has led to several lucrative brand endorsements, including Nike and Coppertone. Press, along with Alex Morgan and US team captain Abby Wambach, appeared as herself on an episode of The Simpsons (that’s how you really know you’ve made it).
On top of being a key contributor for the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, Press also holds the record for all-time scoring at Stanford University.
17 Serena Williams
As an athlete, American tennis player Serena Williams transcends gender. It’s not just that she’s the most dominant female tennis player of all time and one of the best overall female athletes ever; it’s that she’s one of the greatest athletes ever, regardless of gender. And like her athletic abilities, her physique seems to transcend gender in a way. She’s undeniably feminine in all the right places, but she’s also strong in a way that defies the supposed limitations of the female form.
Rio 2016 will mark Williams’s fourth time at the Olympics. She won the gold for doubles along with her sister Venus in Sydney in 2000, the gold for doubles in Beijing in 2008, and the gold for doubles and singles in London in 2012 (she missed the 2004 Athens Olympics due to injury). Barring major upset, Williams, the number one ranked tennis player in the world, is the heavy favorite to bring home the gold for the US once again this summer.
16 Ana Ivanovic
At 16th in the world rankings, Ana Ivanovic is unlikely to challenge Serena for the gold medal in Rio, but she’s certainly a challenger in terms of looks. The 6-foot tall, 28-year-old Serbian was ranked first overall in 2008, when she won the French Open and made it to the finals of the Australian Open, but she’s recently struggled to recapture her former success, often losing in the early rounds of tournaments to far lower seeded competitors. She’s hoping that Rio, which will be her third Olympic Games, will help turn her fortune around, as she said, “I love representing my country and it would be a dream to bring a medal to Serbia.” She hasn’t had much success in past Olympics, despite going into Beijing as the number one player in the world, but she believes that 2016 could be her year.
15 Ellen Hoog
Comedian Norm MacDonald once joked that the only time North Americans care about sports like gymnastics and track and field is during the Olympics. Women’s field hockey isn’t exactly a major sport in North America, either, but if anyone has a chance of making it one, it’s Ellen Hoog of the Netherlands. 30-year-old Hoog is a two-time gold medal winner at the Olympics, and she’ll look to become a three-time winner in Rio. In 127 international matches for Netherlands she has scored 32 goals, and we have absolutely no idea if that’s good or not. Even though it’s called “hockey,” apparently the sport has more in common with football (or soccer, to us North Americans) than it does to ice hockey, as Hoog is listed as a midfielder.
To be honest, we couldn’t care less about the sport. All we care about is Hoog, and we’d be willing to learn the rules of the game (apparently there are quite a few, with more stoppages than a basketball game) if it means that we get to watch her in action.
14 Paige Selenski
Another field hockey player! That settles it: we’re definitely going to have to check out this sport during the 2016 Games. Paige Selenski is an American field hockey player. All we can say about Selenski, who went to school and played at University of Virginia, the athlete is that she plays forward, but there’s a lot that we can say about her looks. This 25-year-old, who was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, is an absolute knockout. Her nearly nude photo shoot for ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue, which shows off her incredibly toned physique, are some of the sexiest pictures of a female athlete you’ll ever see. Hoog might have the gold medal, but Selenski takes the top prize when it comes to looks.
Paige represented her country in 2012 and, while not yet confirmed, she’s a virtual shoe-in for a roster spot on the 2016 team. Should Selenski and Hoog face off in Rio, it would be the greatest head-to-head competition in the sport of field hockey since Taco van den Honert and Juantxo García-Mauriño went at it in 1996 (those are real players, we swear).
13 Darya Klishina
This one’s more of a bonus entry, since Russian long jumper Darya Klishina, who lives and trains out of Florida, has virtually no chance of making the Olympics in 2016. But if ever there were an Olympic event for beauty, Klishina would be a lock for the gold medal. 25-year-old Klishina, who’s also listed as a model, has yet to qualify for the Russian Olympic team, but she has represented her country at several international competitions, including most recently at the World Championships in Beijing, where she finished 10th with a jump of 6.65m (her personal best is 7.05m, which she did in 2011 at the European U23 Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, good enough for first place).
Throughout her career, Darya has often been named the most beautiful female athlete in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Hopefully one day she’ll get a little closer to being named the best female long jumper in the world.
12 Natasha Hastings
American sprinter Natasha Hastings is one of the fastest women in the world. Born in Brooklyn but residing in and training out of Locust Grove, Georgia, Hastings won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics for the 4x400 Women’s Relay. She’ll look to make a name for herself as an individual competitor at the 2016 Olympics. She has said of her intensive training that she works out on the track five days a week and hits the gym for weight training three days a week. It’s that routine that clearly gave her that amazing body.
She posed in the buff for ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue (God bless that magazine) in 2011. Hastings is one of those rare female athletes who looks just as beautiful in competition as she does out of it. Even when pushing herself to her physical limits, her hair and makeup are always on point.
11 Jessica Ennis-Hill
Born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, Jessica Ennis-Hill is one of the best overall athletes in Britain. She competes in the heptathlon, which is made up of seven separate events. So if you’re into superfit, multi-talented women, Jessica Ennis-Hill is the woman for you.
She excels in various individual track events, including the 100 meter hurdles and the high jump, both of which she broke the British record in. Unfortunately, she’s coming into the 2016 Rio Olympics after suffering an achilles tendon injury that kept her out of competition for much of the year, but she’s still an odds on favorite to take home the gold in the heptathlon. Even if she doesn’t win her second gold medal in a row, she’ll still be considered an icon in British sports history, having been named the country’s favorite athlete of 2016 by Sport Relief, a BBC Sport charity event.
10 Shelina Zadorsky
Since the US Women’s National Soccer Team has so many representatives on this list, we thought it only fair that we also include a member of Canada’s National Team. There were a lot of gorgeous players to choose from, but ultimately Shelina Zadorsky, who was born and raised in London, Ontario, and went to school at University of Michigan, has to take the cake as the most attractive member of the team. With just over 5,000 followers on Instagram, it’s a shame that this 23-year-old defender isn’t nearly as well known as her Washington Spirit teammate and American counterpart Ali Krieger. Perhaps a gold medal finish at the 2016 Olympics would help improve upon her celebrity status. In total, Zadorsky has made 12 appearances for Canada’s national team, and she has scored one goal. She helped her country win the silver medal at an Olympic Qualifying tournament in the US, and she’ll look to improve upon that finish this summer at the Games.
9 Genevieve LaCaze
We recognize that some men, perhaps due to a feeling of intimidation or inferiority, are not into the strong, muscular look, so for those who prefer their female athletes with a little less meat on their bones, Genevieve LaCaze is perfect for you. 26-year-old LaCaze is an Australian track and field athlete who specializes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The steeplechase, for those who don’t know, is a race that includes obstacles (there are 28 barriers and 7 water jumps in a 3,000-meter competition). She narrowly made the Australian team for the 2012 London Olympics and was the only female runner from her country in her field. Even though she failed to qualify for the finals, she set a new personal best, one that she will look to improve upon in Rio this upcoming summer. While she might face steep competition in terms of the race, there’s no competition when it comes to attractiveness. One look at the runners competing and you’ll know that she is easily the most attractive woman out there. So at least she’s got that goin’ for her, which is nice.
8 Morgan Mitchell
21-year-old Australian sprinter Morgan Mitchell is one of the many women on this list making their first Olympic appearance in Rio. She specializes in the 400m race, with her best finish to date coming at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, where she finished first in the 4x400m relay race. Motivated by the 2000 Olympics, which took place in her home country of Australia, Mitchell began her career in athletics at the age of 6. Although she’s young and inexperienced compared to others in her class, Mitchell set her personal best time in the 400m race earlier this year, so she’s going into Rio at her fastest.
There must be something in the water down under, because Australia has some of the most attractive female athletes in the world, and believe it or not Mitchell isn't even the hottest Australian track athlete on this list.
7 Maggie Vessey
Like fellow American runner Natasha Hastings, Maggie Vessey of California doesn’t use the fact that she’s an athlete as an excuse to not look her best at all times. Vessey, who competes in the 800m and 4x800m relay events, is famous for her bold and stylish track outfits, which look more like something you’d see at a formal dinner party than a track meet, and show off her amazing toned figure without sacrificing any of her feminine grace.
Unfortunately for us, it’s a long shot that the 34-year-old Vessey will actually make the US team for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but no list of hot Olympic athletes would be complete without her. She did, however, help her country set a record for the 4x800m relay race in 2015, so there’s hope for us yet.
6 Allison Stokke
Like Vessey, the inclusion of American pole vaulter Allison Stokke on this list might be wishful thinking on our behalf, as she failed to make the US team for the 2012 London Olympics despite setting personal bests that year. While she might not be a world-class athlete in her sport just yet, she is already a celebrity in her own right. Due to her good looks, Stokke, who was 18 years old at the time, has been an Internet celebrity for nearly a decade, as pictures of her competing at an event went viral online in 2007. Even though she resisted the idea of being a sex symbol, there was nothing Stokke could do to slow the progress of her Internet stardom. She’s gone on to work as a model for various sportswear lines, including Nike, and she helped bring in more than 6 million views online for GoPro by appearing in a number of videos for the company.
5 Amber Hill
18-year-old Amber Hill, who was born in Windsor, Berkshire, England, has the distinction of being an athlete (that term’s used pretty liberally in this case) in the most obscure sport on this list. She’s a sport shooter, specializing in the skeet, which are those round clay targets that look like Frisbees being flung through the air. Hill, who took up shooting at the age of 10 thanks to her grandfather, is considered a phenom in the shooting world. By 12 years old she was already chosen for England’s national women’s team, and by 15 she was setting records. 2016 will be her first time in Olympic competition, and despite being much younger than most of her competitors, she’s expected to do quite well.
With her small stature (5’2”), her fresh-faced smile, and her long blonde hair, Hill isn’t exactly what you’d expect an elite shooter to look like, but we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the boys in her school were too intimidated to ask her out.
4 Zsuzsanna Jakabos
Believe it or not, Zsuzsanna Jakabos, who is only 27 years old, has already competed in four Olympic Games. A swimmer from Hungary whose best event is the 200m freestyle, she finished in sixth place in the 4x200m freestyle relay race in Beijing in 2008. However, she won gold for the same event this year at the European Championships in London, so fourth time might be a charm. Scrolling through Jakabos’ images on Google might give you the impression that she’s a professional model, but we swear she’s an athlete. Despite her lack of success on the international scale, Jakabos has a significant following on social media, and it’s probably fair to assume that not all of them are Hungarian swimming fans.
3 Jaqueline Carvalho
Jaqueline Carvalho is a Brazilian volleyball player. Say no more, right? She already has all the ingredients necessary to be one of the hottest female athletes in the world. In 2016, 6’1” Carvalho will be making her third Olympic appearance, and it’s a special one since it takes place in her home country. She played a big role in her team winning the gold both in 2008 and 2012, and at 32 years old she’ll be looked upon as a veteran leader this summer as they look to defend their title.
Carvalho is known for her complete game, winning both a “Best Spiker” award and a “Best Receiever” award at separate tournaments. She’s also known as one of the most beautiful athletes in the world, with supermodel long legs, gorgeous tanned skin, and long dark hair. Carvalho is a main reason why women’s volleyball is one of the few sports that men prefer the female version.
2 Antonija Sandrić
Antonija Sandrić, formerly Antonija Mišura, is certainly not the most accomplished female athlete on this list, but, at least according to several magazines and polls, she might just be the most attractive female athlete in the world. NBA player Nate Robinson certainly thinks so, as he once tweeted, after watching a game in which she was playing against Czech Republic, that she “might be the most beautiful woman basketball player ever to lace up some sneakers.” And we would have to agree, although, to be fair, we don’t really know all that many female basketball players to begin with. The 5’11” Sandrić, by the way, is two inches taller than Robinson.
Sandrić plays point guard for Team Croatia, who didn’t fair well at the 2012 Games, with their only win coming against Angola. Due to being one of the younger players on an experienced team, Sandrić saw her playing time limited that, so hopefully she’ll play a bigger role in Rio.
1 Michelle Jenneke
Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke will be making her first Olympic appearance in 2016, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not already achieved a high level of fame. You might remember her from a viral video a few years back in which she can be seen dancing and bouncing around with a big smile on her face before a race at the 2012 IAAF World Championships. The video, which displayed not only Jenneke’s great beauty but also her athletic ability (she won the race, after all), received over 19 million views in roughly a week and was even shown on The Tonight Show, making the Australian something of an overnight celebrity. Jenneke parlayed her sudden fame into a successful modeling career picked up several sponsors.
She is not to be taken lightly as an athlete, however. This 5’8” dark haired, long-legged beauty won the silver medal for the 100 m hurdles at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics, and she might just take home the gold in Rio this summer.