Team thirst

Olympic gymnast’s brilliant idea to increase viewership: Compete shirtless

Here’s an idea no reasonable person should oppose: In the spirit of increasing the visibility of men’s gymnastics, how about athletes take a cue from the Romans and compete with a little more exposure to the elements?

That’s the genius idea from team USA’s Sam Mikulak. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the US all-around national champ reasoned that if gymnasts “compete with [their] shirts off,” perhaps viewership would tick upwards. We think he’s definitely onto something here.

“People make fun of us for wearing tights. But if they saw how yoked we are maybe that would make a difference.”

That is simply sound reasoning, plain and simple.

And this isn’t pure theory — they’ve already tested it out to some degree.

You probably recall seeing this photo of team USA in Rio for the Olympic games in 2016:

#squad #meanmuggin

A post shared by Danell J Leyva (@danelljleyva) on

Turns out that was a little less candid than everybody thought.

In an article titled “U.S. Male Gymnasts Want to be Objectified,” the Wall Street Journal reports:

That [photo] wasn’t an accident. It’s one of the ways they think they can get attention in a country that showers glory upon gold-medal-winning women gymnasts while ignoring America’s less-successful men’s team.

So the men’s team has been brainstorming ways to market their sport better. They would like to be objectified.


…there’s a feeling on the men’s team that even if they won gold, they wouldn’t enjoy the stardom that America confers upon its top female gymnasts. Jonathan Horton was the top American men’s gymnast at the 2008 Olympics, where he won silver on high bar. That same year, the top American women’s gymnasts were gold medalists Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson, who instantly became household names.

“You would think that the top guy in a big-time sport like that could get, like, not a LeBron James contract, but some good money,” Horton said. “You really can’t make a living off men’s gymnastics.”

Mikulak’s teammate Jake Dalton agrees:

“We have great physiques,” Dalton explains. “Incredible physiques.”

Once again — no argument here:

WORKING OUT WITH A STEEL MACE! Video goes live tomorrow morning! ?? #Gymnast #SteelMace #Workout

A post shared by Jake Dalton (@jake_dalton) on

Sam Mikulak is currently fourth in the all-around standings.

A post shared by USA Gymnastics (@usagym) on

Love this team for making last night so much fun, but keeping our eyes set on tomorrow's competition ??

A post shared by Samuel Mikulak (@samuelmikulak) on

#work #teamusa #family #rioready #finals

A post shared by Chris Brooks (@cbrooks_gym) on

Thank you @elleusa for this awesome shot… It was such a fun photo shoot!!

A post shared by Danell J Leyva (@danelljleyva) on

When you get too hyped up for the #kelloggstour

A post shared by Danell J Leyva (@danelljleyva) on

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  • dwes09

    “People make fun of us for wearing tights.”
    Only stupid people or jealous people, if you ask me. They wish they looked so good in unforgiving attire.

    • phallictomato

      Agreed. They’re usually jealous AF because they don’t have a sexy ass or nice legs to show off in skin-tight clothing – that, and the fact that when most guys see other guys wrestling, all of a sudden they feel their ‘masculinity’ is threatened, and so they make fun of it – even though, inside, they either think 1) it’s hot, and they’re a closet case, so they must deflect and say it’s so gay/weird/stupid etc. in hopes that by saying these kinds of things, others won’t realize they’re actually gay and enjoy the sight of men wrestling, or 2) their masculinity and/or other peoples’ perception of them is at stake, so they deflect and degrade man-on-man wrestling by making fun of it, or the wrestlers. Either way, they’re jealous that the men wrestling are perfectly comfortable in skin-tight clothing and wish they were as brave.

  • Spike

    Go for it boys!!! More skin!!!

    Those damn full body suits RUINED men’s swimming IMO.

  • jkb

    That wouldn’t inspire me to watch…oh, who the f&ck do I think I’m kidding? What channel?

  • trelin

    Show don’t tell. The gloating makes me less inclined to provide them with the admiration they’re dying for. Modesty maybe?

  • Herman75

    The Olympics is getting rid of freestyle wrestling due to low ratings.

    Back during ancient times in Greece, wrestlers and other athletes practiced and competed without any clothing at all. There’s an idea, although it would be kind tough on the nutz and and other parts.

    • phallictomato

      Sadly they’d never have naked wrestling, but even skimpy tight-fitting clothing would probably be acceptable for mainstream tv. I personally love homoerotic wrestling – because it’s like porn, but with skimpy clothing, lol.

  • JaredMacBride

    Shirtless? No. Full nude? Hell yes.

  • Jack Meoff

    Sounds like solid logic to me I’d certainly pay more attention

  • QJ201

    As a pre-teen I was FASCINATED with men’s gymnastics when the Olympics were broadcast.

    Perhaps they should start doing the gay bar appearance tour?
    If they start off half dressed, they’re not “stripping” LOL

  • tdh1980

    I’m all for greater visibility for hot, shirtless men, but has the U.S. men’s gymnastic team considered that maybe their female counterparts get more coverage because they’re better athletes? I mean, try actually winning and maybe people will remember who you are and want to watch you more.

    • Spike

      OR maybe it has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that when Title 9 went into effect, most colleges eliminated their men’s gymnastics programs. At one time, most of the US Men’s Men’s Gymnastics team was made up of UCLA team members. UCLA no longer has a men’s gymnastics program. Cause, effect.

  • Xzamilloh

    No thanks… porn is everywhere now.

  • skilos

    I think if they actually wore tights would be great, and not those ill-fitting stirrup pants. They look like flimsy ski pants. Real tights would show off their muscular legs. Or nude would be the best, or no more than a thong. Or maybe something like boxer-briefs, and nothing more.

  • JamJewel

    First of all, men control media so they are wont to follow women in all their glory. Second, the guys would have to get rid of the black shorts or whatever those horrible things they are wearing and give us the crotch shots. And this applies to wrestling and swimming and ice performances as well where they are all so vain. Without the jock-straps and thongs which bind you up and hide everything. Queerty had that great picture of Michael Phelps the other day showing his stuff which we had not seen in all his years on the podium. Why? Because men control media AND sports.

    • doc and raider

      Dude, you clearly have no been watching wrestling at the Olympics. Those uniforms dont hide a thing.

  • peteinpa001

    Definitely naked is the way to go! Wrestling, track and field, and swimming! Especially parallel bars!!!

  • dean089

    Um, this is the primary reason I’ve been following men’s gymnastics for the past 25 years. Hardly anything “new.”

    • phallictomato

      It’s the ONLY reason I watch men wrestling, lol.

  • paul dorian lord fredine

    well, you know what they say…less is more.

  • alanballs

    I am MORE than happy to grant their wishes to be objectified!!! Yum Yum.

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