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The Sporno Guide to the London Olympics

by Mark Simpson

(Originally appeared on Out.com, 26 July 2012)

Looking forward to the London Olympics this summer for all the wrong reasons? Wishing that they were still conducted in the manner of the ancient Greek Games—naked save for a light basting of olive oil?

Well, you’re not the only one. In an age of widescreen/HD/3D TV, technology is undressing the Olympians’ perfect physiques and inching our voyeurism closer and closer, pixel by pixel.

It’s not just the spectators harboring filthy thoughts, either. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, even the 100,000 condoms initially distributed — 14 per athlete and entourage member alike — ran out, and more had to be rushed in. That’s some spurting achievement.

For 2012, it’s entirely appropriate, then, that a very prominent face of the Olympics is Mr. David Beckham, the athlete who became a global sporno star by flaunting his lunchbox on billboards for Armani and H&M. So, in keeping with the spirit, we present a spornographic guide to the Olympics, based shamelessly on aesthetics, rather than athletics.

(Read Mark Simpson’s 2006 “Sporno” essay here)

GYMNASTICS
It’s difficult not feeling slightly jealous of the sweaty, slutty old pommel horse, especially when high-cheek-boned, large-shouldered, slim-hipped chaps are eagerly handling it. Look out for the cute redhead Brit Dan Purvis, who recently took a tumble doing some mat work and landed in the laps of some lucky judges.

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CYCLING
A treat for Lycra fetishists and yeast infections, and anyone who likes to see outsized quads and glutes getting pumped. German track cyclist Robert Forstemann deserves a medal just for getting his historic thighs and bounteous bubble-butt into spandex at all.

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WRESTLING
Just the words “Greco-Roman” are enough to make me sweat. Wrestling is not only très Olympian, but also the closest event to actual boning — especially when it’s the U.S.’s Ben Provisor in an all-in-one getting two-on-one’d. (As a bonus, errant erections are not uncommon — and devilishly difficult to disguise.)

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SWIMMING
Ding-dong, the body suit is dead! And the Speedo — quite possibility the most perfect male garment ever devised — is back in all its brief glory. Watch as Michael Phelps’s and Ryan Lochte’s storm-proof abs battle it out for the “top spot.”

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WATER POLO
All that churning in the pool looks like a giant gay Jacuzzi where everyone’s tossing the soap around. Especially since this year’s Serbian team appears to have been sponsored by Bel Ami.

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HIGH DIVE
Gymnastics in wet Speedos! What’s not to like? Especially if you’re into young chaps with good breath control. This year looks set to be a showdown between the U.K.’s winsome Tom Daley (pictured) and Australian sweetheart Matthew Mitcham. May the best twink win!

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OBELISK CLIMBING
OK, this isn’t an Olympic sport. It’s a tradition at the U.S. Naval Academy where shirtless cadets attempt to scale a giant phallic monument covered in Crisco. But it really, really should be.

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