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More than 11,000 athletes will compete in the world’s biggest sports event. The heroes of Rio 2016 are already national heroes, and many of them will even evolve to pop culture stars.
But what about those who didn’t made it? Some of the best athletes in their disciplines are skipping the Olympics due to bunch of different reasons, most commonly – fear of the Zika virus, suspension and bans in relation to the huge doping scandal, or simply because of injuries.
We present you the most attractive female athletes you won’t see in Rio. All elite athletes and tough competitors, they will be truely missed.
Okay, you may not miss her on-court screams. But for the last decade Sharapova has been one of the faces of Women’s Tennis. Until early March, when she got caught for using recently-banned substance meldonium. Her case was the first famous case – soon followed by hundreds others. Maria Sharapova is currently suspended for two years.
Innocent until proven guilty? Not for some Russian athletes, not anymore. Regarding to the massive doping scandal, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned 67 Russian Track and Field athletes from the 2016 Olympics. And one of them was Yelena Isinbayeva. The two-time Olympic gold medalist – and probably the greatest athlete in Women’s Pole Vaulting – tried everything to be allowed to compete in Rio and thus keep the chance to end her career with 3rd Olympic gold, even as independent athlete if necessary. Something she was not permitted to do.
The fastest woman alive… Although only in the 100m. Carmelita Jeter is three-time Olympic medalist with complete set of gold, silver, and bronze. Unfortunately, she skipped the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in July due to leg injury.
Kendra “Keni” Harrison
Another fastest woman (this time in the 100-meter Hurdles) did make it in the U.S. Olympic trials. But she did it terribly, finishing 6th and therefore losing her spot for Rio. Ironically enough, a month later at the London Anniversary Games, Keni Harrison broke the 28-year-old world record in 100m Hurdles set by Bulgarian Yordanka Donkova in 1988… 1988! Is the young American a future legend and Olympic gold medalist? Time will tell.
Do all dreams come true? What Keni Harrison did with the 100-meter Hurdles‘ world record, was Sally Pearson’s dream for a long time in her career. The Australian is two-times Olympic medalist – winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Pearson missed the last year due to wrist injury, and just before Rio she suffered from another one after tearing hamstring.
“I could’ve gone to the Olympics and still competed, but competing and going out to the Olympics means different things to me” – Sally Pearson, 2016.
July was the month of Tennis weddings. Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic – all beautiful tennis players who, unfortunately for their male fans, got married within a week. Among the three only Cibulkova pulled out of the 2016 Olympics due to left calf injury. Which is sad not only because we love to watch her playing, but also because Rio would be a nice place for honeymoon… right?
Jessica “Jess” Varnish
A British Track Cyclist who was dropped from the Olympics team. Varnish accused British Cycling‘s Performance Director at that time Shane Sutton for making sexist comments about her, including telling her that she was “too old”, and that she should “go have a baby” instead continuing with cycling.
She is a British weightlifter currently holding a total number of four British clean and jerk records among three weight classes. Zoe Smith lost the battle for the Britain’s sole female weightlifting place at Rio after failing to fully recover from injury.
One of the young hopes of American Artistic Gymnastics. But Baumann had to miss the U.S. Olympic trials due to elbow injury that required surgery.
Who said royals take everything for granted? Zara Tindall (born Zara Phillips) who is a British equestrian and also happens to be granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, won Silver medal as part of the Great Britain’s Eventing Team at the 2012 London Olympics. Zara had high hopes for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but as we all know – each tale has its end, and eventually Tindall has missed out on Olympics selection.
The controversial Italian herself cut off her way to Rio. In March, Giorgi announced that she was cutting relations with the Italian Tennis Federation, and refused to play for Italy’s Fed Cup team in the following World Group playoff against Spain. In Mid-April – and the interesting part starts here – Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi stated: “The ITF rules say that players must be ‘in good relations’ with their federation to qualify for the Olympic games. For me, right now Giorgi is not in good relations”.
Another tennis player skipping the Olympics. The 19-year old pulled out of the 2016 Olympics with the intention to prepare for US Open. After Roger Federer, Bencic was the second top-ranked tennis player from Switzerland to withdraw the Olympics.
One of the big favorites among sports fans in America. Also one of the not-so-many athletes who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Lolo Jones may not be the most awarded athlete, but she is apparently the most followed U.S. Track and Field athlete on Twitter. The American, who is now 34, lost her chance for winning the Olympic gold in the Hurdles after missing the notorious U.S. Olympic trials. We can only hope to see Lolo at the 2018 Winter Olympics – where she could be competing in Bobsledding.
Who do YOU miss? Is there anyone else? Please let us know!