Model or Athlete? The 2014 Olympics Edition

In the current state of things, it’s hard to tell if you’re in Sochi or NYC: both are cold, snowy, multicultural melting pots hosting what are sure to be huge, over-the-top Opening Ceremony shows in the next few days. And the journalists and athletes busy tweeting their complaints about the hotel accomodations over in Russia have clearly never sublet an “artist’s loft” in Bushwick—try living somewhere long term with an iffy plumbing situation, guys. Cute stray puppies? There are people in NYC who will release a dozen newborn kittens right outside their buildings for the super to deal with. Oh, and some athletes are scared of the dangerous snow courses. As a fledgeling New Yorker, I have two words for them: black ice. Three more: leather-soled shoes. Sure, a serious injury could be a career-ender for athletes like Shaun White (who backed out of the slopestyle event), but same goes for a model who eats it rushing down an icy sidewalk on the way to the next show. Stay with me…

Another thing Sochi and NYC have in common right now: an influx of genetically superior people (Sochi, of mind and body; NYC, of cheekbones and height). Whenever I watch the Olympics Opening Ceremonies, and the camera pans across the faces of smiling, healthy men and women, I like to imagine the endorsement deals they’ll be offered in their native countries should they medal. (And maaaybe the scandal that’ll rip the endorsement deal away.) There’s also that tiny bit of jersey-chaser inside me that finds athletes hot, by default. So, in honor of the big event, I’ve put together a guide of faces to watch at the Sochi games—the ones who could convince me to buy a box of Wheaties, running shoes, or a 6-inch sub, and make even the sport of sweeping ice in front of a tea kettle (known as “curling”) a real feast for the eyes.

—Annie Kreighbaum

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