So many hot Olympic athletes, so little time. I hate to double up on one sport, but will use the FINA Diving World Cup that just concluded in London this week as an excuse. Or the more honest one that divers always grab my attention thanks to their perfect physiques and skimpy suits. With Mitcham out, Louganis having made a big splash with his announcement that he was gay, and 70% of the spectators at any meet being gay men, it must be a bitch to be a straight male diver. This week’s profiled athlete, Yahel Castillo, doesn’t have that concern. He’s ready to go for a diving gold medal, and if you are not Chinese that means you better be gay.
My mastery of the Spanish language is iffy at best. Fortunately, Google’s predictive search results speaks all languages and has a tendency to want to add ‘gay’ to searches about Yahel. Actually Google wants to add ‘es gay’ but I do speak enough of the lingo to decipher that. Nice thing about gay Olympic divers is that besides looking hot on the diving board, they often pose for beefcake shots. The bad thing for gay Olympic Divers who are not officially out is that those beefcake shots almost always give the game away.
Mexico is not a big medal winner, but the athletes who compete on the country’s behalf are definitely muy caliente. 24-year-old diver Yahel Castillo has a good chance at upping Mexico’s medal take in London this year. And an even better chance of upping viewers’ libidos. With thighs almost as massive as hottie He Chong’s, his appearance at the Olympic Games will be just that much more interesting.
Yahel made his Olympic debut at the 2008 Games in Beijing, placing seventh in the Men’s 3m Springboard competition. Since then the 5’6” Latino hottie has seen a meteoric rise in his career culminating with his bronze metal win at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships held in Shanghai, China last July. That win qualified him for a spot in the 2012 London Games where it is expected he will medal.
Yahel followed up his World Aquatics Championships win with a gold medal finish in the same event at the Pan American Games late last October where he also won gold partnered with Julian Sanchez in the 3m Synchronized Springboard competition which gives him a second berth at the 30th Olympiad.
There is probably nothing gayer at the Summer Olympics than the Men’s Gymnastics Floor Exercises. But men’s sychronized diving comes damn close. But that’s only because they don’t have a synchronized swimming event for men. I think. Please tell me they don’t. Now don’t be hating me for stating the obvious; yes, both events take skill and athletic ability beyond anything I posses and the competitors deserve recognition for their skill. But I’d never last on RuPaul’s Drag Race either. Gay is gay no matter how you call it. Even Olympic officials thought it was something else until 2000 when synchronized diving was adopted as an Olympic sport. Looking a lot like two dolphins mating, synchronized diving is all about team work. It’s a quick but beautiful aerial ballet of two supremely toned men, their contrasting skin tones and matching muscular physiques fusing their individual talents in perfect union. I’m sure Rick Santorum thinks sychronized diving is the work of Satan. But I digress . . .
At the Pan American Games, Yahel teamed with Julián Sánchez at the last minute when his usual partner, Daniel Islas, was injured after hitting his right leg on the board in the final of the 1-meter at the Aquatic World Championships. The duo finished 6th during the preliminaries, but managed to capture the bronze in the final event. Though rivals in the individual 3m springboard event, the two have combined their talents for synchronized diving.
Though Castillo has already qualified for two spots in the Olympic diving events, he competed in both the individual and sychronized 3m springboard events this week at the World Cup in London. The meet was an Olympic test event and had Yahel not yet qualified, his performance would have landed him a place at the Olympics in the individual events.
At the World Cup, the top 18 semifinalists in the Individual events and the final top four teams in the synchronized events qualify for an Olympic berth. Yahel, diving with his old partner Daniel Islas again, came in 7th. (Both the U.S. and Canadian diving teams finished out of the money in the 6th and 5th spots respectively but since the Chinese divers already qualified for Olympic spots they too managed to earn a spot on the card. The team of Bryan Lomas and Huang Qiang from Malaysia surprisingly won the bronze and not surprisingly, the Chinese men took the gold.)
With 59 athletes competing in the individual 3m event, Yahel disappointingly finished in the 13th spot. He Chong and his Chinese team mate took home the gold and silver, and Canadian Alexandre Despatie won the bronze. Divers from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and Japan all finished within the top 14 spots and earned places at the 2012 Olympics.
Back home in Mexico, the handsome Guadalajara native was awarded his country’s 2011 National Sports Award, the highest honor Mexico bestows on its athletes. Yahel was also selected by Gillette as one of its 24 world-class athletes who will represent the brand at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The selected athletes exemplify Gillette’s conviction that in athletics, and in life, a great start can make all the difference. The key to success in many sports can be linked to proper preparation and an athlete’s action in the first milliseconds, not necessarily the final moments of the contest. Uh, yeah, a stretch and a bit of hype but nice for Yahel to gain an endorsement. Gillette might have helped him a bit by telling him he didn’t need to shave his armpits though.
Hopes are high for Castillo to medal at the Olympic Games. He is the only other diver who can consistently pull off He Chong’s signature forward two-and-a-half somersaults with 3 twists pike dive. Hopefully he will pull off that dive better than he pulls off trying to pass as a straight boy.
[‘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.]