The List — also known as the Top 20 Hottest Male Rowing Athletes of the Year — is fan favorite; an annual blogging effort that got its start in 2008 and has grown in popularity with each year that I’ve posted it. It started as a fun way to pass the hours and hours of down time that we had in our hotel room during the Beijing Games, and has since become the highlight of my blogging year and my favorite post to write. I post The List every year after the World Championships (or Olympics) at the end of the summer.
Nominations are entirely subjective. In general, they’re based on a combination of sex appeal, rowing performance (past and present), style and other intangibles that make people stand out in a crowd. The List is closed to active Senior National Team members, but I do try to identify athletes from lots of different countries, lightweights and heavyweights, big boat and small boat rowers, sweepers and scullers (hence why The List is not made up entirely of the Australian and British teams). Nominations are also a bit of the luck of the draw–since I may not interact or even see all of the athletes at the World Championships every year; I am limited to scouting on chance encounters on the dock, around the boat yard, on the buses, or in hotel elevators.
Not everyone agrees with all of my List picks every year–that’s ok, you can never make everyone happy. But after my fourth attempt at this, I don’t think it’s really about who makes what spot on The List, but the fact that people all over the world can take a few minutes and smile or laugh over it. I have connected with athletes from around the globe over this little post; shared smiles and jokes; and genuinely enjoyed the connection we have over something so simple, and silly. It’s actually very rewarding to know that people–even if it’s only a few–get a few minutes of happiness out of something that I’ve done. I fully realize and respect that a lot of the List men are husbands and dads, so it has never been my intent to offend anyone or make them uncomfortable by being a part of the List, but rather offer a respectful nod to the hard work that got them to the World Championships (and looking good while doing it).
Happy reading, and Long Live the Dream,