When she posed naked for Playboy last year, American swimming champion Amanda Beard started an Olympics tradition that deserves full disclosure.
For a moment, forget about Michael Phelps, air pollution and traffic jams in Beijing and the wily coaching genius of Mike Krzyzewski. There is another side to the Games.
Four German Olympic sportswomen — sailor Petra Niemann, canoeist Nicole Reinhardt, field hockey striker Katharina Scholz and judo fighter Romy Tarangul — are featured in their country’s September issue of Playboy.
Reinhardt, pictured with her legs around a paddle, wanted to show she had not developed unattractive arm muscles in training. "I don’t need thick arms," said the 22-year-old, who has everything else she needs to strike a stunning pose.
Censored photographs of the German women can be seen at bustedcoverage.com.
Also, for the curious, Beard stripped off her swimsuit for a revealing spread in the July 2007 Playboy.
• SINGLES PLAYER — Rafael Nadal, who won the French Open and Wimbledon, added to his memorable year by winning Olympic gold in tennis. Nadal stayed in the athletes’ village, and the "Spanish Superman" said the experience rejuvenated him.
"I arrived very tired," he said. "The reason probably I won this title is because I have a fantastic time here enjoying a lot in the village. That was amazing experience for me. Always was a pleasure to know new people, no?"
The rumor is at least four attractive German women have been seen strolling around the village.
• FOREIGN CONCEPT — Kobe Bryant was surprised to see Chris Kaman, a native of Michigan who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, playing for Germany’s basketball team.
Bryant said Kaman didn’t know "one damn word" of German.
Does it really matter? Kaman scored just six points Monday as the Americans (5-0) put a 106-57 pool-play whipping on Germany (1-4).
• CHINA’S OLYMPIC NIGHTMARE — Do the Chinese take the Olympics too seriously? Consider the sad story of hurdler Liu Xiang.
In a recent survey of more than a million Chinese, the top Olympic dream was to witness Liu winning gold at the Bird’s Nest stadium. But Liu, China’s most popular athlete, crash-landed. After he hobbled off the track with an Achilles’ tendon injury and withdrew from the 110-meter hurdles, Chinese fans were crushed.
According to an unnamed source in a Reuters story: "Liu has several cars but is not allowed to drive for fear of getting injured. … Nobody asks him out for a meal in case the food has something bad in it. There is a group of men following him for 24 hours. He can’t even drink a bottle of water if he doesn’t know exactly where it comes from."
Seems more than a little extreme. Maybe the guy was dehydrated, malnourished and paranoid from being followed and exhausted from having to jog to the stadium.
The New York Jets aren’t even giving Brett Favre that type of protection.
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS REVIEW-JOURNAL