Leryn Franco is one of the more popular Olympic athletes in London, but it has nothing to do with any expected success at the games.
Franco, a Paraguayan javelinist, is instead turning heads because of her good looks, and she's quite all right with that. She understands that she's different from most athletes, and even understands that a medal might not be in the cards.
"I am not expecting a medal," Franco said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "The competition is very strong and there are athletes who are stronger than me. But I treat it seriously and I want to do my personal best. For me the best reward is just to be here. Getting to the Olympics is like a medal for me."
Franco was Yahoo's second-most searched Olympic athlete (behind Michael Phelps) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and her popularity has remained at an all-time high since. She's been widely considered the most attractive female competitor at this year's games, which is something she's taking in stride as her career reaches a unique stage.
"My situation is different from most of the other javelin throwers," Franco reportedly said. "I am not just an athlete. I have to be honest, my career is really in the media.
"If people open a magazine, they can see me there. Modeling and fashion is my job, too. It takes up much of my time and enables me to make money. It is flattering to me that people find me good-looking and enjoy seeing me wearing good fashion items."
Franco, who has appeared in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition, will compete on Aug. 7.
Thumbnail photo via Terra.com
Photo of the Day
It's a big hat. It's funny.
Quote of the Day
I'm on top of the world right now. I still know I can go faster.
–U.S. Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer, who won a gold medal and set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly
Tweet of the Day
You could be on to something, Mr. Axford.
Tim Tebow has become a Kardashian of professional sports!
— John Axford (@JohnAxford) July 27, 2012
Video of the Day