Olympics Summer 2008

Our first Olympic Stud of the Day* was, of course, chosen for his performance at last night’s opening ceremony. (Read our best and worst moments.) We were looking for enthusiasm. First, we considered Liechtenstein’s flagbearer, Marcel Tschopp, a track and field athlete who didn’t let the fact that he was one of two people representing his country stop him from fist-pumping. Then, we were drawn to Kevin Cordon, the smiling flagbearer from Guatemala who apparently heard Bob Costas when he said that Cordon had drawn one of China’s badminton standouts in the first round of competition, so perhaps he should enjoy himself now. But in the end, Italian flagbearer Antonio Rossi (pictured) had three things those gentlemen didn’t: Three hundred plus countrymen acting as though they’d hit the vino while awaiting their walk in the parade of nations. (Probably with Brazil and Spain.) The ability to reduce broadcast-fatigued Costas and Matt Lauer to a “Marco … Polo” joke. And a sport jacket that hugged his back muscles.

So, congratulations, Antonio Rossi. We look forward to watching you compete in Flatwater — as soon as we find out what that is. (Something involving a canoe or kayak, allegedly.)

Nominate your own Stud of the Day from last night’s opening ceremony below. Come back daily for our next pick.

* Not just a man or woman who turns us on. (Necessarily.)