Leryn Franco: Meet the Paraguayan Javelin Thrower Everyone Is Talking About

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJuly 26, 2012

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTOBER 27:  Leryn Franco of Paraguay competes in the women's javelin throw final during Day 13 of the XVI Pan American Games at Telmex Athletics Stadium on October 27, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

The world will stop just long enough to take in a couple weeks of Summer Olympics and will manage more than a peek at rising superstar Leryn Franco. 

There is a great deal to love about the Summer Olympics. Among the records to be broken, there will be a flood of personalities this country doesn't get to see on an everyday basis. 

That means we will see flashes of superstardom, and Paraguayan javelin thrower Leryn Franco certainly qualifies. 

Her image will be plastered all over the virtual walls of the Internet, left there for those who like to ogle pretty things. 

Jillian Eugenios of TODAY's London Blog put it best. 

Javelin thrower Leryn Franco placed 51st in the 2008 Olympics, yet she finished only behind Michael Phelps among Yahoo! searches for Olympic athletes during the Games. 

It's clear that the 30-year-old from Paraguay is popular for more than just her javelin-throwing technique.

I leave it to you, the masses, to conjure what that reason might be. Make no mistake, Franco will again be a summer mainstay and may very well have far more sticking power thereafter. 

There is a giant chasm this Paraguayan medal hopeful has ahead of her in London. Her page at IAAF shows her personal best in the javelin is 57.77 meters. 

While that took place this year, it's still well off the world record and the mark other athletes will be throwing for: 72.28 meters.

That mark was set in 2008 by current contender, Czech Republic's Barbora Špotáková. She also has Great Britain's Goldie Sayers to worry about as well, who recently threw 66.17 meters

We shouldn't expect anything but more media exposure despite the lack of podium time for Franco. The Paraguayan beauty has been mentioned in magazines and websites around the world, like Sports Illustrated, Maxim and AskMen. 

She recently spoke with Efe, and it was translated by TODAY

My career is media. One can turn on the TV or look at a magazine and see me...To qualify for London, the Olympics, is already a medal. 

She may not break records or win hardware in London, but if history is any guide, she will still be an uber celebrity by the time the London Olympics are over. 

Follow me on Twitter for more Internet hoopla. 

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