40 hot athletes. 40 different countries. 40 ways to impress your coworkers at the water cooler with your knowledge of international sport.
Let them talk about the EPL (Go Arsenal!) or the never-ending matches of cricket they watch to seem cultured—we've got everything from curling to water polo covered here, and some of the most beautiful women in the world to boot.
So if you're tired of being accused of only knowing about the pop culture and sports figures that are relevant in the United States, here's your chance to prove you are a citizen of the world.
And to enjoy yourself while you do it.
(Note: I only chose one athlete per country, so yes, a number of gorgeous athletes from Brazil and Russia will be missing. Life isn't fair.)
Things I loved about Belgium before this slide: The country's beer.
Things I love about Belgium after this slide: The country's beer and Isabelle Pieman.
Nicol Ann David as of July is the world's highest-ranked squash player in the world.
That's right, I said squash.
It's sort of like racquetball except squash has a "tin," which is the lower area on the front wall where it is illegal to hit the ball.
We're expanding horizons daily over here at Bleacher Report.
Hazel Mae is currently an anchor for the MLB Network, making the channel even more awesome for baseball nerds such as myself everywhere.
I know what you are thinking—when do we get to the sexy water polo players?
(You weren't thinking that. You were thinking, "Man, this slideshow would go great with some Doritos.")
Fear not, my faithful readers, for Rita Dravucz is the sexy water polo player you've been searching for your whole life.
(You haven't been searching for a water polo player your whole life. You gave up looking for that button that popped off of your shirt after about five minutes—a lifelong search isn't in the cards, is it?)
All of the "unit' jokes have been made by now, so don't get your hopes up.
However, it is possible that psychotic fans of Unitt call themselves Unittards, much as fans of Glee call themselves Gleetards.
Unittards actually show their support by wearing unitards, however.
I have no idea what I'm talking about any more.
I'm telling you, that crazy, twirling ribbon madness the rhythmic gymnasts incorporate in their routines can be sort of trippy.
That's right, folks, it's a hot tennis player that isn't from Russia.
Actually, you'd be surprised at how many there are.
If pretentious, aspring novelists wrote for Bleacher Report:
Azarenka kept having what she thought was a terrrible dream, one in which she showed up for the biggest tennis match of her life clad only in under garments.
But there was a twist. Expecting mockery and scorn, she was surprised and, though reluctant to admit it at first, quite delighted when the crowd stood and gave her a roaring round of applause instead.
Perhaps there will be life after tennis, she thought to herself, sticking her buttocks toward her opponent as the crowd whistled and cheered, quite amused by her irreverent display.
France's fabulous sprinter looks a bit like Halle Berry here, no?
Sadly, this is probably what most Americans know of Romania.
I'm here to add knowledge of Romanian tennis player Sorana Cirstea to your (narrow world view) conception of Romania.
God bless America.
Asao is a beach volleyball player, and is supported—whoops, silly me, I meant to type "endorsed"—by Adidas.
I've got to give a shout-out here to a fellow Swagger scribe, Amber Lee, whose awesome article on the hottest participants of the 2011 US Open helped me learn about a few international tennis players I wasn't familiar with.
The Swagger crew rolls deep (that's gangsta slang, right?), though I'm really hoping nobody's last wish is that we smoke their ashes.
Don't get any ideas, Novelo.
You will receive eternal respect from all Swagger scribes and loyal readers if you aren't from the Netherlands and you can pronounce "Anouk Hoogendijk."
Actually, you won't receive anything, but take pride in your accomplishment.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again—the beach volleyball system of exchanging signs between teammates is the best one in all of sports.
Ho hum, another sexy tennis player from Eastern Europe.
I promise you this much, a lot of men have done a lot of stupid things because of that smile during Bondarkeno's life.
Ho hum, another sexy tennis player from Eastern Europe.
I promise you this much, a lot of men have done a lot of stupid things because of those long legs during Hantuchova's life.
Why have I never heard of this beauty until just now?
(And no, the answer is not "Because you haven't done your due diligence." I'm pretty sure it is the world's fault.)
No, she isn't trying out for the new Broadway Christmas extravaganza, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer That Also Had Elephantitis."
(...and if you ever saw it, you would say his freaking life blows...)
She's a rhythmic gymnast, thank you very much.
Sania Mirza is huge in India, though there are cultural obstacles she has faced that many in America probably don't realize.
I was the only Indian girl from the subcontinent, I happened to be Muslim, I happened to speak English and have my own point of view. I think everyone was startled a little bit. When I came to play [at Wimbledon] in 2005, I made fourth round of singles, and I went into the press conference and instead of asking me about my fourth round, I was asked, “So, you wear a nose ring, you must be a big rebel.” And I said, “Just by the way, in India that’s the most cultural thing that you can do is to have a nose ring.”
But I’m glad I went through it, because like Aisam said, I think it created awareness in a lot of ways for a lot of young girls, not just Muslims, a lot of other religions in India also don’t like their girls running around in skirts and playing tennis or playing all kinds of sports. I think today it’s a very done thing to want to be a professional tennis player no matter what city you come from, and it’s not laughed at.
The gorgeous lady on the left is of course Maria Kirilenko, who (perhaps controversially) will not be representing Russia on this slideshow.
I'm sure you can guess why.
And yes, the lovely lady on the right is Domachowska, a friend of Kirilenko's.
Talk about a pair I wish I would run into at the bar.
Incredibly hot plus incredibly talented equals incredibly awesome.
Actually, incredibly talented equals incredibly awesome all by itself, but the incredibly hot aspect is bonus points.
Still, important questions remain, such as whether or not Wozniacki looks better than Danica Patrick in a bikini?
And you thought cross-country skiing wasn't sexy.
Okay, so cross-country skiing isn't sexy.
Who cares? Norwegian cross-country skiier Therese Johaug is a knockout.
I don't really care for ice skating, but even I couldn't help but be impressed by this performance.
Whether on the ice or at a photoshoot, Yu-Na is simply flawless.
Sonia Garcia is a nine-time national surfing champion in Panama, and...
...oh to hell with it, you aren't reading this.
She's a curler, thereby making her the most exciting thing in the world's most boring sport.
I have to admit, there is something oddly intriguing about curling, though it may simply be that as I watch I continuously ask myself why anyone would dedicate themselves to such an activity.
And then I check my fantasy baseball lineup for the fifth time that day, and recall that it isn't nice to be judgmental.
I love it when female soccer players imitate Brandi Chastain's iconic celebration.
I'm not sure why Oqvist is doing it in a pool, but I'm also not complaining.
It wasn't easy to pick the consummate beauty in Australia—the country is spilling over with beautiful athletes—but Stephanie Rice was simply too gorgeous to pass up.
Also, if Australia was smart, they would just superimpose that image of Rice's upper body on the flag. Men everywhere would suddenly have patriotic feelings toward Australia, whether they were a citizen of the country or not.
Here's what to watch for—er, what you need to know:
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, this lovely latina first gained fame as a singer in the girl band “Chikas” as well as Venezuelan pop band “Tartara” and “Latin Fiesta” (is there any other kind of “fiesta”?) in London. Today, she’s the sports anchor for ESPN Desportes, which airs in the US and Central and South America.
Hipsters everywhere are clamoring for a pair of roller skates like the ones that Finnish ice skater Korpi is sporting here.
This ain't your grandpa's golf.
Actually, that's not true—the LPGA has been around for over sixty years.
But your grandpa might contend that in his day, they didn't play golf on the street in high heels. Nope, they played in the snow, uphill both ways, with more bunkers dug into the ground than WWI.
Go to sleep, grandpa.
Dude, Kimiko Zakreski seems like one cool chica.
I'm pretty sure the coolest women on the planet are either surfing, skiing, or snowboarding chicks. Looks like I'll be taking up some new hobbies.
Yes, I wish I was sitting next to her on that couch as well.
I don't know much about Grisales beyond the fact that she's a sports television personality in Colombia.
I would have done more research, but I started watching this.
I think this goes without saying.
Somehow, she's not the world's hottest sports television personality.
This is how.
Sara Carbonero makes me want to be a better man. And learn how to speak Spanish. And just visit Spain in general, really.
The faces of synchronized swimming may not be the most talented participants out there, but they certainly are the hottest.
The whole twins thing helps as well.
Obviously there were a number of directions I could have gone when selecting the hottest athlete from the US, but the world's sexiest surfer holds a special place in my heart.
You may not agree with the selection, but you can't dispute Blanchard's beauty either.
Just watch the damn video and wish you were either as cool as Mancino or cool enough to date her like I've been doing.
I know, this picture made me jealous of a pane of glass for the first time in my life as well.
I hope you enjoyed your trip around the world. Feel free to start bragging about your international sports knowledge now.