NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (UPI) — The U.S. men’s Olympic gymnastics team wants to compete in Rio de Janeiro with their shirts off in the hopes of getting more viewers, team members suggested this week.
The men’s team usually draws a smaller TV audience than does the women’s team, and team members told the Wall Street Journal the best solution to the problem.
“Maybe compete with our shirts off,” said gymnast Sam Mikulak. “People make fun of us for wearing tights. But if they saw how yoked we are maybe that would make a difference.”
After the team became a social media hit with a shirtless selfie on Copacabana Beach, and is now considered a serious contender for the gold medal in the team final, but the women’s team is considered a lock for gold. The men’s team hasn’t won a medal since they took bronze in Beijing in 2008.
All the fitness in the world won’t likely give them the attention they want, but winning will, said Danell Leyva, U.S. individual bronze medalist in London. The women’s team is getting the attention they’ve earned he said.
The U.S. women’s team members “should be popular—and even more popular,” he said. “It’s one of the few events in this country where women do get the amount of credit they deserve.”
A photo posted by Danell J Leyva (@danelljleyva) on Jan 13, 2016 at 2:31pm PST