You may be wondering why we haven’t “Studded” Michael Phelps yet. It’s a fair question: After all, last night he broke his own world record in 200M freestyle to win his ninth career gold — tying him for the most gold medals in Olympic history. (He should break that record today.) He also got back in the pool 50 minutes later and won his semifinal in the 200M butterfly. And did you hear Bob Costas rattle off what the boy eats for a typical breakfast? Three sandwiches of fried eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, and mayonnaise, an omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast with powdered sugar, and three chocolate chip pancakes. If that is the breakfast of champions, sign. me. up. (But hold the mayonnaise on the breakfast sandwich. Eww.)
As impressive as he is, Phelps has yet to reach his Studliest. So in the meantime, we take the opportunity to honor another Mr. Consistency, Jonathan Horton (pictured, with teammate Raj Bhavsar in the background) of the underdog U.S. men’s gymnastics team. That boy knows how to stick a landing. On the parallel bars, on the high bar, on the floor exercise. A team that’s had to call up two alternates needs a constant, and it’s Horton, with his solid performances and rousing speeches. (“No fear. No regrets.”) Of course, he didn’t win the team bronze by himself. We’ve also got to give it up for Justin Spring, who obliterated his knee on a vault a year ago at Nationals, fought his way back through eight months of rehab, somehow survived the long wait before his high bar routine and delivered seriously Stud-worthy release moves and a stuck triple-back dismount. And then there’s alternate Alexander Artemev, who had to clinch the U.S.’s place on the podium with the final set on the evil pommel horse. He didn’t make the team originally because he wasn’t dependable. He’d just watched two of his teammates falter. And now the team’s fate rested in his hands, literally? You couldn’t have scripted a better ending. Especially since we got shots of David Durante, the only U.S. alternate not to make it onto the floor, cheering and tearing in the stands after Alexander (aka Sasha, which is a Stud name, y’all) nail it.
You know what’s next: Nominate your own Olympic Stud of the Day* — or second ours — below. (Then click here to check out our winning Studs from the previous three days in Beijing.)
* Not just a man or woman who turns us on. (Necessarily.)
addCredit(“Horton: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images”)