Who knew Instagram, a social media obsession, offers a behind-the-scenes look at professional athletes? From workouts, recovery, and appearances, athletes like Gabby Douglas and Alex Morgan aren't shy when it comes to sharing. Since they're on Instagram, we're on Instagram, and you're on Instagram, it's time to get inspired and start following. Who knows? You might learn some new workout tips while you're at it!
We've long been fans of handsome athletes like David Beckham and Tom Brady, but this year, thanks to the 2012 Olympics, we were introduced to a whole new crop of sexy sports stars from around the world. With their impressive talents — and, OK, their impressive bodies, too — these hot athletes stole all our attention. One of the most swoon-worthy pros? Swimmer Ryan Lochte, who basically owned the Summer headlines. In the water, on the court, on the field, and on the ice, these sexy jocks turned us into diehard sports fans. Get your daily dose of eye candy by checking out 2012's hottest athletes!
From Olympic records to famous blond locks, there are some ladies who have left their mark well beyond the locker room. Real life wonder women like Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michelle Kwan, and Danica Patrick have changed history, our view of jocks, and even our wardrobes. Each in their own way, these 10 athletes are just as inspiring as they are iconic — proving it is OK to be fit and feminine.
- Singapore: $805,000
- Italy: $182,400
- Russia: $135,000
- Ukraine: $100,000
- France: $65,200
- Japan: $35,900
- China: $31,400
- US: $25,000
- Australia: $20,300
- Canada: $20,000
- Ghana: $20,000
- Germany: $19,500
- Great Britain: No performance bonus
These are just basic estimates of how much athletes are getting for their gold medals from certain sources; there's no telling what the true value of a gold medal will mean for the lucky winner.
Some athletes aspire for gold not only for the glory of winning an Olympic medal but also for a generous monetary reward. However, for a select few, endorsement deals have already funded their trip to London and then some. According to Forbes, many of the top earning female athletes are Olympians, and whether the gold in their pocket is a result from the gold hanging around their necks or other career accomplishments, these women aren't too concerned with finding work after the 2012 games!
YumSugar: You raise chickens in your backyard and you consider yourself an urban farmer. What do you grow or produce yourself that you're most proud of?
Natalie Coughlin: The eggs are pretty easy. It's amazing how much food is produced by these little creatures. I just have to give them kitchen scraps, fruits and vegetables, and chicken feed, and they give us a ton of fresh eggs every day, which is pretty incredible. And then the fresh herbs and kale are kind of my mainstays. They grow very, very easily and I get tons of them from the yard.
YS: If you weren't in swimming, do you think you'd have a career in the food world?
Find out her answer and much more when you keep reading.
Volleyball superstar Gabrielle Reece made a big announcement this week: the 40-year-old mom is returning to the pro volleyball circuit this July. Calling it her "comeback," Gabby told ABC News that she decided to play on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) circuit this year because of changes its new owners made. Those changes include a shorter competition schedule and the return of the "four on four" format, meaning teams of four play against one another. On whether or not she's excited to be coming back to the sport, Gabby said, "I am. It's fun. You're outside, it's on the beach, and you're around all these great girls." She also mentioned that she's excited to play with the "younger girls," too.
Gabby says she's feeling comfortable and strong, and that even after she stopped playing pro volleyball (almost 10 years ago), she's always kept a training schedule and an active lifestyle. The only thing she's not looking forward to? Those regulation bikini bottoms. The star says she will be doing her best to lobby for the return of tights.
I told you I'd be back with more amazing ladies from Team USA. I will definitely be watching the opening ceremony this Friday, as I'll be on the lookout for the medal hopefuls I'm showcasing here. Here's hoping that their incredible talent, drive, and training is enough to bring home the gold!
Of course there are some women who have the hots for athletes, without diving into the sordid world of groupie-dom. A friend in college dated multiple guys on the soccer team and a former roommate had a huge crush on baseball great Alex Rodriguez. (Apparently, she's not alone; Madonna and Kate Hudson, anyone?). Do athletes turn you on?