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Olympic Gymnast Louis Smith strikes a naked pose for Cosmo.

With just over a month left before the Opening Ceremonies turn London into a mad house, Olympic hype is reaching a crescendo. Uh, yes, this is my second Olympic post this week, but that’s not the hype I’m talking about. In this instance it’s naked Olympian hype. ‘Cuz nothing exemplifies the spirit of the Olympic Games like hot hunks posing in the nude.

Great Britain’s Olympic Field Hockey Team strips down in mass.

The just released issue of the UK version of Cosmopolitan Magazine features several of the hottest Olympic hopefuls in the buff. Gymnast and bronze medal winner Louis Smith, cyclist Ben Swift, and runner Conrad Williams along with the GB field hockey team all appear nude in the magazine on behalf of the British testicular-cancer campaign Everyman.

Olympic diver Tom Daley graces the cover of Fabulous wearing far too much clothing.

Cosmopolitan has worked with Everyman to raise awareness via their centerfold spread for the past 11 years. Previous centerfolds have included Lenny Kravitz, Ewan McGregor, Rupert Everett, Graham Norton, Jason Donovan, and Ronan Keating. Featuring Olympians in this year’s issue was a stroke of genius. Which should have a lot of guys stroking themselves, and possibly taking a few seconds away from the matter at hand to check out their crown jewels for unusual growths at the same time. Wanking off an orgasm for a worthy cause is always a noble effort.

. . . and Canadian Olympic diver Alexandre Despatie’s bulge hasn’t got the coverage it deserves either.

Last month UK Cosmopolitan in its pre-hype Olympic hype issue featured 15 Hot Olympic 2012 athletes, but they phoned that list in going with not really all that hot Michael Phelps (okay, great body but definitely a two-bagger . . . and the producers of 1313 Mockingbird Lane, the upcoming movie version of The Munsters, could have waited until after the Games and signed Michael on to play the role of Herman Munster which would have saved them a ton on make-up costs), the hot but overexposed and far too easy of a choice Roger Federer, and the homophobe rapist Kobe Bryant. Really ladies? Maybe you need to leave the hot stud picking to gay boys.

GQ Australia features Olympic Swimmer James Magnussen, but The Missile gets better play in his jac5 men’s underwear advertisements.

British diving hunk Tom Daley, who is finally old enough to drool over, graced the cover of The Sun’s Fabulous Magazine this month looking not only quite grown up but quite fabulous indeed. Daley has gay guys all over the world dripping in anticipation of his performance at the Olympic Games this year, so featuring his hot little body in the magazine was good hype. That the photo spread was of Tom shirtless kinda misses the mark since he routinely appears wearing even less when competing.

The June Issue of Vogue featured Olympic Gymnast Jonathan Horton and his bulge.

Canadian Men’s Fashion magazine hyped the Olympics in its April issue with a covershot of bulglicious Olympic diver Alexandre Despatie and did an even greater disservice by having him appear dressed. Alexandre’s bulge has been world famous ever since he first appeared on a diving board and to not give it equal billing was a mistake as large as he protrudes from his swimsuit.

Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Ono took to the ice in the buff for ESPN magazine.

Meanwhile a bit further south, and undoubtedly kicking themselves for not thinking of the testicular cancer thingy, Aussie swimmer James Magnussen’s beautiful body is highlighted in GQ Australia. The degree of difficulty in selecting an athlete who normally wears less than the outfits he poses in for your mag is rather low, but they went for the smouldering good looks shots and manage to score a 6.7 for effort.

U.S soccer goalie Tim Howard bared almost all for ESPN . . .

Magnussen, known as The Missile, has landed several lucrative corporate sponsorships, none of which have made the obvious move and photographed him sans that swimsuit that hides so little of his talents in the first place. But he does look adorably cute and much hotter than normal in his jac5 Men’s Underwear appearances.

. . . and soccer defender Oguchi Onyewu showed it all off too.

This month Vogue added their two cents worth, jumping on the hot Olympian hype bandwagon with a spread featuring six of America’s sexiest Olympic athletes. Shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, for some misguided reason the editors included model Karlie Kloss in each shot which even after the photography sessions were over could easily have been corrected with a bit of photoshopping. But then the picture of hunky gymnast and silver medal winner Jonathan Horton’s bulge pointing due north toward Kloss is priceless, and makes you wonder who the hot guy was that must have been standing behind her just out of camera range.

Clippers power forward and Olympic basketball player Blake Griffin shows where his power comes from.

Vogue’s Olympic issue feature Ryan Lochte’s hard nipples on its cover, Dwyane Wade looking a hella lot hotter shirtless than he ever has on court (and let me digress to note the U.S. Olympic basketball team is going to be manned by a squad of NBA players who all will have come up losers by the time Oklahoma takes the championships), hurdler Ashton Eaton jumping over the fish, and the tennis world’s Bryan brothers towel draped in a men’s locker room a shot that should have featured both less towel and less fish. Oh, and for the lesbians Serena Williams flashes some skin too. In fact, scanning an on-line article from the magazine of Olympic athletes they’ve featured in the past there is a preponderance of photos that would appeal to the flannel crowd; I never realized Vogue is to lesbians what GQ is to gay men before.

A shirtless Dutch gymnast Jeffrey Wammes posed for Linda magazine, and used the appearance to announce he is gay.

Elle went with David Beckham for its 2012 Olympic hype cover not realizing as hot as David once was, he has never played in the Olympics and has yet to be chosen as one of the ‘too old to normally be allowed to play’ athletes on GB’s squad. And a few shirtless shots when Beckham has exposed far more in the past is not exactly a gold medal worthy effort.

The Bryan brothers go nude on their way to winning a medal at the London Olympics.

Close, but with an obviously smaller cigar, Dutch hottie Jeffrey Wammes, who still may or may not represent his country in men’s gymnastics at the Games this year lined up with six other shirtless athletes for Dutch magazine Linda’s special gay edition last year and used the photo session to announce he is gay. His hot body and boyish good looks stirred up interest in the Olympics across the planet and we can only hope someone will convince him to strip down for a future magazine cover. Or video. Or both.

Olympic diver and gold medalist Greg Louganis got naked for Playgirl.

Sticking to athletes who are actually Olympians, ESPN Magazine set the high bar with their annual naked coverage of hot athletic bodies. The magazine has convinced Olympians such as speedskater Apolo Ono, U.S soccer goalie Tim Howard and his teammate Oguchi Onyewu, Olympic gold medalist figure skater Evan Lysacek, swimmer Ryan Lochte, and Clipper’s power forward Blake Griffin – who will be on the U.S. basketball team this year – to shed their clothing for the magazine’s annual Body Issue. And rightly so. Since athletes no longer compete in the nude at the Games, the least thing they can do is appear in print in all their glory.

For the Sydney Games the Australian men’s water polo team tried out some skinny dipping.

Fortunately, shots of sexy Olympians showing off their physical talents are a tradition in the publishing world. Stripping down for a cause, or just because, is nothing new when it comes to the world’s top athletes. From Vogue’s previous coverage of sports stars such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal not so covered to Playgirl’s coup of featuring Greg Louganis in the buff male Olympians as the gods intended them have been an eye candy staple.

Olympic Gold Medalist in Volleyball Karch Kiraly let it all hang out.

Whichever sport you lay claim to, when you’ve reached the top and qualified for the Olympics there’s a damn good chance you’re sporting a gold medal worthy body. Showing that body off just seems the right thing to do. Fortunately female weight lifters tend to get passed by on the nude athlete shots (though now that we know who Vogue is marketing to they might want to take that as a heads up). But even then, female Olympians pose naked a lot more often than the men do – and someone really needs to address equality is sports. Not that we’ve been totally under-represented.

Cosmo has a thing for naked athletes and attempted to arouse interest in cricket.

For the hype leading up to the Sydney Games the Australian water polo team showed off the ball fans are really interested in, and triple jumper Phillips Idowu and swimmer Gregor Tait posed naked an advertising campaign for Powerade, the official sports drink of the Beijing Games. Prior to that Karch Kiraly, the only person in history to have won Olympic Gold in both indoor and beach volleyball did the full monty – and I do mean full – and Cosmo, once again promoting Everyman featured three of Great Britain’s hottest cricketers in the buff, unfortunately holding well-positioned bats.

Olympian Nikola Karabatic appeared in the Dieux du Stade calendar . . .

And then there is the French. It must be part of the French constitution that if you are a sports star you have to strip down for charity. The Dieux du Stade calendar has included some of France’s hottest Olympians over the years in some of the hottest photos including Nikola Karabatic, who will be seen in London this year with a bit more clothing on, as well as the 2008 Greco-Roman wrestling gold medalist Steeve Guenot.

. . . as has Gold Medalist Steeve Guenot.

Since the powers that be at the IOC decided rugby is not an Olympic sport (gotta leave room for synchronized swimming) no one’s Olympic hype efforts will include Frenchy Alexis Palisson’s hot body, which is a real shame since he’s showed what he’s made of in the Dieux du Stade calendar too.

Unfortunately Rugby player Alexis Palisson won’t be playing at the London Games, but is in the hearts, minds, and fantasies of gay men across the world.

With all the magazines hyping the Olympic Games by featuring nude, or at least shirtless, Olympians, you’d think there’d be plenty of beefcake going around. At least you would if you were not Elton John. As a fund raiser for his AIDS awareness foundation, Sir Elton hired photographers Anderson and Low to capture a series of striking nude studies of leading international athletes. The collection of images took several years to complete and includes shots of 138 superbly toned world class athletes from three continents in the buff. I’m Still Standing indeed. Mmmmm, I feel a Part 2 of this post coming on . . .

Olympic Gymnast Ross Brewer gets naked for Elton John.

[‘The XXX Games’ are a series of posts about hot Olympians, gay competitors - both present and past - and general articles about the 2012 London Olympics of interest to gay men. So, yeah, lots of hot male eye candy. Click the XXX Games graphic below for additional news, stories, and pictures.]

The XXX Games of the Olympiad