What’s the sexiest Olympic sport? Gymnastics? Men’s synchronized diving? Rugby? (Some of you guys get off on the thought of women who can beat you up. You know who you are.) Wrong. While it’s true, those sports all benefit, lions-wise, from their athletes being in peak physical form, the sexiest Olympic sport is something completely different. The sexiest Olympic sport is racewalking.
I found this video of Men’s 20k walk, won by China’s Wang Zhen with a time of 1:19:14. I am now obsessed. Look at the hip shimmy. Look at it.
Olympic racewalkers look like they’re trying to seduce you, but also like they need to take a piss. Vox explains the science of the wiggle thusly:
For most of race walking’s history, the technique was really simple: Just walk, fast.
Then in the 1960s, one man changed the face of race walking forever.
His name was Jerzy Hausleber, a Polish walking enthusiast who moved to Mexico in order to create the world’s most dominant race walking force. Hausleber, who died in 2014, is sometimes called “el padre de la marcha,” or the father of the walk.
Before Hausleber, race walking was dominated by tall athletes, as a New York Times retrospective explains. It made sense: Taller walkers had longer strides and could go cover more distance in less time.
What Hausleber discovered is that shorter, more flexible athletes could increase their stride frequency and tease more movement out of every step.
Basically, he taught race walkers how to wiggle….
“Hausleber came up with the idea of using the pelvis more than had been done previously,” Brian Hanley, a scientist who studies race walking biomechanics at Leeds Beckett University in the UK, tells us.
For more hips not lying, the women’s 20km racewalk and the Men’s 50km racewalk (there is no women’s 50k) take place tomorrow. For now, enjoy Olympian Wang Zhen getting his cock o’ the walk on to some sweet tunes.
(Mute the video on the left)