Huh. As much as I wanted to be able to watch proudly out Dutch gymnast Jeffrey Wammes’ hot little body performing at the Olympic Games, I have to admit the Netherlands’ decision to fill their sole Olympic berth with Epke Zonderland may have been a good call. The 26-year-old adorkable mop head hottie’s performance on the high bar during the finals was poetry in motion. His consecutive triple releases made the other competitors look like little girls playing on a jungle gym. The judges agreed and award him the gold medal.
Granted, every Olympic gymnast has a body that personifies the perfect male physique. Even a few of the women competitors. And as much as I wish it were different, I realize there is a reason NBC’s coverage is American-centric. But the network supposedly hires professionals who are up on their specific sports so you’d think we’d have been blessed with at least a little previous coverage of Epke. But I guess a segment on why Danell Leyva never stood a chance at medaling on the rings would not have played well. But at least we got to watch Jordyn Wieber screw up yet another performance and then look pissed like it was someone else’s fault.
NBC loves the ‘triumphs over adversity’ stories, not realizing that sports does not usually involve crying buckets of tears (unless you bet big time on the Super Bowl and lost). Epke’s on again off again tale of qualifying for the Games would have been a natural for the network had he been born in the USA. I already gave the ending away in lamenting over not being able to drool over Wammes, but the storyline for those of you not familiar with it is that the Netherlands picked up a single Olympic berth during the test event in London back in January and almost immediately gave the spot to Epke though both he and Wammes had equal claiming rights. Wammes sued (which almost sounds like an American) and the courts agreed with his position stating the decision was made too quickly and in a capricious and arbitrary manner.
After being chastised by the courts the country did what it should have done in the first place and decided to award the spot to whichever of the two performed best during the upcoming World and European championships. Things looked better for Wammes until he injured himself during training and was unable to compete at the Worlds. By default the spot went back to Epke once again. Which is probably a good thing not only because of his gold medal win but that his Olympic rings tat would have looked pretty stupid otherwise.
Epke, whose two brothers and sister are also gymnasts, entered the international gymnastics scene in 2004 with his silver medal win on the high bar at the European Junior Championships. The following year at the World Championships he and Wammes became the first Dutch male gymnasts to ever qualify for the all-around final. He claimed his first World Cup gold, again on the high bar, in 2006 and in 2007 won the bronze on the parallel bars at the European Championships. In September of that year at the World Championships Zonderland finished in 4th position on the high bar, which earned him a qualification for the Beijing Games where he placed seventh.
In 2009, the 5’ 8” 150 lbs. hottie won the silver medal on the high bar at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and was named Dutch Sportsman of the Year. At the World Championships in 2010 he earned another silver medal on the high bar, and in 2011 won the gold at the European Championships as well as silver on the parallel bars and was named Dutch Sportsman of the Year for a second time.
Epke’s gold medal at the 2012 Olympics makes him the first Dutch male gymnast to reach that pinnacle and the first Dutch gymnast, male or female, to win an individual Olympic gold medal. The boy’s body ain’t too shabby either.
[‘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.]