Well, the Olympics are over, and in spite of the eye-searing Opening and Closing ceremonies and heroics from humanomachines like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, the unanimous fave amongst those who inhabit Surprise Central is Canadian longjumper Tabia Charles. That's her looking at this.
Now Tabia didn't win any medals, in fact, she came in 10th in the long jump finals (slightly behind Carolina Kluft of long jump powerhouse Sweden), but the way in which she came in 10th endeared her to all who make it their business to make others stand out in their fields.
Now some athletes, like the aforementioned swimming and running phenoms, are destined for glory. Others, despite trying their damndest and giving their all, will see hues of gold or silver only in the technicolor of their dreams.
And then there's Tabia. Realist. Opportunist. Like Phelps, she used the Olympic Games as the springboard to her future. But she didn't do it with medals; she did it with fishnet and hairtint.
You couldn't miss Tabia on the field. She wasn't the best athlete, or the hottest "sex symbol" attracting gaggles of horny photographers, but man, she was an eye magnet. Fishnet stocking on one leg. Rhianna-like hair bob that made the most out of the HD telecast. Natural post-Olympic ambition--model and fashion designer. As she told reporter Rob Vanstone:
"About three years ago, my brother was like, ‘Tab, man, if you can make it to the Olympics and do your thing there and people see you, that opens so many doors.’
"I figure why not come out here and show them my trends? So when I do come out with a fashion line, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s Tabia Charles’s stuff !’ That’s the whole goal: To make it in this aspect. This will open so many doors for me.
"My boyfriend was like, ‘Tab, go all out. Why not? You never know what can happen."
Well, here's what I hope happens--when Bolt and Phelps are hobbling along the lecture or coaching circuit, I hope Tabia Charles is the new Donna Karan or Coco Chanel, following her creations down runways all over the fashion world.
That, my friends, would be the ultimate long jump.