“So, I was looking at photos of Ryan Lochte today…as one does.”
My friend nods because looking at photos of United States Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is what everyone does. As far as I’m aware, this week “Ryan Lochte speedo pool” has replaced everyone’s usual go-to google image searches*.
“And,” I continue, “I noticed something exciting.”
I pause for dramatic flair and lean in, as though I’m revealing a great secret of the human condition. “Ryan Lochte is Finnick Odair.”
My friend squints, as though she’s trying to work out the arithmetic of real life person Ryan Lochte equaling Hunger Games trilogy hottie Finnick Odair, and three seconds later she gasps. “OH MY GOD YOU’RE RIGHT! HE IS!”
To be fair, Finnick Odair is a fictional character and everyone has a different idea of him in their minds. You can just scour the internet for fan sites that cast a pantheon of hot guy actors in the role. So, I realize you might be harrumphing right now because I haven’t picked Garrett Hedlund or Armie Hammer or Ryan Gosling or Sam Claflin (who is supposed to be the front-runner, but as far as I know hasn’t officially signed on for the role). Fine. Harrumph. You have every right to cast Finnick in your head as you so choose. You have an imagination all your own and that imagination is too powerful a force for anyone to argue against.
That said, I believe the same qualities that make Finnick so disgustingly crush-worthy are attributes physically embodied by Ryan Lochte. I’m so convinced by this that I’m almost creeped out right now. As excited as I was to see Lochte finally beat Phelps, in what has long been a contentious event for both of them, I was equally relieved to not that Lochte didn’t have to spear anyone with a trident.
So what are these qualities?
Well, Finnick is described as being extremely handsome. Ryan Lochte is extremely handsome. Finnick is tall, tan, and has a swimmer’s body. Ryan Lochte is tall, tan and has an Olympic swimmer’s body. Finnick has bronze hair and sea green eyes. Ryan Lochte has hair that looks bronze when it’s grown out and his eyes look like some kind of sea. I’m not a maritime expert, though. I can’t specify what sort of sea, but the ocean is there.
There’s other stuff, too, you know, besides the…uh…physical…um…stuff. (Though the physical stuff is sort of my favorite.)
Like Finnick, Ryan Lochte is supposed to be funny and laid-back and teasing, even though he’s also a fierce competitor. Finnick Odair is so charming and popular that he never hurts for sponsors. Ryan Lochte is currently–according to his website–sponsored by Speedo, Gatorade, Gillette, Mutual of Omaha, Proctor & Gamble, Ralph Lauren Polo, Nissan, USA Swimming and AT&T. Not to mention, Lochte has covered Vogue, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health and is considered to be the “face” of the United States Olympic team, because what normal, human organization wouldn’t want Ryan Lochte’s face to be its face? I mean, come on, LOOK AT HIS FACE.
I’m not going to comment on the sexiest part of Finnick Odair, which is his romance with Annie Testa, because I’m not going to presume that Ryan Lochte has some tragic love for some lovely woman hurt by life. I will say I wouldn’t put it past Lochte, if only because, he is so like Finnick Odair in every other possible way–except for the fact that everyone usually survives an Olympic event.
Lastly, I’m in no way advocating for Lochte to play Finnick in Catching Fire. As I mentioned last week, I’m a massive Gary Oldman fan, and Gaz’s opinion on athletes as actors matches my own. I’m just saying that I think Suzanne Collins saw Ryan Lochte in a speedo by a pool in 2008 and thought, “Hmm…yeah…I’d like to write about him.” And Finnick Odair was born.
I’m merely saying that Ryan Lochte is Finnick Odair.
Enjoy your 2012 Olympics, guys, and Happy Hunger Games!
* My usual go-to non-Ryan Lochte google image searches are ”French terrier puppy sweater”, “cats wearing glasses”, “pigs wearing shoes”, “tom hiddleston” and “Pan-Kun and James best friends”… in case you are having a bad day and need a pick me up.