The Olympics kicks-off in London on 27 July, and while we’re excited to cheer on sports stars like Jessica Ennis and Zara Phillips, there seem to be a few famous faces missing from the international lineup. Oscar dreams instead of days in the gym appealed to a few T’Town royals who said no to gold medal ambitions and yes to the silver screen. Blonde bombshell Kate Bosworth was a hot-shot horse rider, back in the day, while action star Jason Statham was a champion diver before he jumped out of the pool and hit the big time, and they’re not alone. Check out Ahlan!’s roundup of T’Town’s former sports champions.
Sport: Track and Field
He’s known for his rock-solid bod, but Ryan’s muscles aren’t just for show! The avid runner clocked in a sub-four-hour marathon in New York City, crossing the 26.2 mile finish line 3 hours and 50 minutes later. And even better, he ran the marathon for Team Fox, Michael J Fox’s team that’s committed to fighting Parkinson’s disease. Sorry ladies, he kept his shirt on for the entire race.
Tommy might need to wrestle estranged wife Katie Holmes’ lawyers at some point and it sounds like he could hold his own. Tom made a few slams on the mat in his youth and said of his wrestling prowess, “I was in the school wrestling team and used to be pretty good.” A knee injury sidelined him so he auditioned for the lead in his high school’s production of Guys and Dolls, got the role, and kissed wrestling goodbye to take centre stage.
She played a female baseball player in A League of Their Own, but Geena’s real talent is with a bow and arrow. She actually didn’t take up the sport until 1997, but she was so good that she almost made the 2000 US Olympic team! She was one of the top 32 female archers in the US in 1999 and at the time a source revealed, “Geena was watching the Olympics and she got into it about two years ago. She took lessons and she practices five hours a day, every day.” She just missed the target to go to the Games, but we’d still put her on team T’Town!
Kate was a champion rider as a teen, and the sport actually helped with her big break in Hollywood. Said the actress, “Riding competitively was actually my dream before I got into acting. In fact, I ended up acting because I loved horses.” Remember Kate in The Horse Whisperer? She went to the audition and nabbed the part because of her riding prowess. But don’t expect to see Kate galloping past now. She told Interview mag, “I haven’t been able to ride for a long time, because it’s [an injury] risk… I miss it.”
She’s got some of the best guns in Hollywood and wowed us with her boxing talents in Million Dollar Baby, but Hils is more of a fish than a fighter! The Oscar-winning actress spent plenty of time in the pool as a kid and even competed in the Washington state swimming championships and Junior Olympics when she was 16 years old.
Reality TV’s Real Olympian
Bruce Jenner’s got crazy hair and a spray tan now, but he’s still an Olympic gold medallist! Kim Kardashian’s step-dad and Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Bruce won the gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Games. Fame immediately followed – he hung out at The White House and was even on a box of Wheaties cereal. He was also a successful basketball player, race car driver, and eventually a TV star. Now 62, he’s a plastic surgery fan like the rest of his clan and looks very different to how he did in ‘76, but he still has his glory days to reflect on!
We know him for serving-up one-liners as Chandler on Friends and as a bit of a troublemaker, but before Matt was acting or going to rehab, he was making grand slams! The Canadian was a big deal on the courts as a teen and was nationally ranked in his home country. Talking about his tennis days Matt said, “I was in the top twenty as an under-18 junior player in Canada and then I lost to this really bad player at a big tournament.” The sore loser decided there and then to leave the court, change careers and headed to Hollywood!
The action star is an almost-Olympian! Jason ruled the pool as a member of the 1996 Great Britain diving team before making it big in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Said the diving champ, “It was a very intense training schedule, five hours a day, six days a week, so there’s no time for anything else. It really taught me discipline… All that concentration has really helped me with the acting.”
She shot to fame as a cheerleader on Heroes but gymnastics was always more Hayden’s bag back at school. She revealed that she, “was never really a cheerleader but I did do gymnastics, and cheerleading has a lot to do with gymnastics.” And she’s still looking pretty fit now, earning her a place as Team T’Town’s top gymnast.