Michael Klim set world records in both the 100 meter butterfly and freestyle. He made a recent comeback, failed to make the Australian team a month ago, and retired again.
I've always thought Tom Cruise looks exactly like what he is rumored to be:
If the 6' 5" Klim and the 5' 7" Cruise were standing side by side in bathing suits near a pool, and no one knew who they were, exactly zero people would gaze at Cruise.
Expect to hear the name Ryan Lochte a lot this summer. He was an individual world champion in four events last year, beating Michael Phelps in two of them.
Here's Leonardo Dicaprio:
Assuming neither was famous, which one do you think would have been more popular with girls in high school?
Pawel Korzeniowski is a former world champ in the 200 meter butterfly, and was the silver medalist to Phelps as recently as 2009:
Adam Sandler perennially places among the top grossing Hollywood stars:
Maybe it's unfair to choose Sandler, who got his start as a comedian rather than a heartthrob, but he has starred in several romantic comedies. Korzeniowski, on the other hand, has the kind of looks which Hollywood prefers to cast in villainous roles these days. But which man would you rather look like?
Here's Matt Targett, on the left, celebrating Australia's 400 free relay victory last summer:
This is how he looks when his face isn't contorted:
Strong, arched eyebrows like Targett's can make one look rakish, intrepid, and devilish at the same time. I have no idea what Targett is actually like, but he certainly looks more the way I'd have pictured Robin Hood than Kevin Costner did:
I could have made this post five times as long, with every contrast equally stark, and all the movie stars looking like slightly subhuman wimps by comparison
Most of these swimmers probably couldn't act. But half of today's movie stars can't, either.
In the old days, Johnny Weissmuller became Tarzan and Buster Crabbe became Flash Gordon. That doesn't happen anymore.
Something's been lost.