If you've been watching the Olympics at all, you've probably heard of Paraguayan javelin thrower Leryn Franco. Though the talented athlete did not make it to the finals this year, she did capture worldwide attention for another reason: her jaw-dropping good looks! Ever since the 2008 Games, Franco has been considered to be the hottest female Olympian, even becoming Yahoo's second-most searched Olympian (after Michael Phelps) during the competition in Beijing.

But though she is obviously gorgeous, there is also more to her than meets the eye. Below, 5 things you didn't know about Franco:

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  1. London, where she placed 34th overall, was her third try at Olympic gold. She placed 42nd in the qualifying round in Athens and 51st in Beijing. Prior to competing, she admitted that she didn't expect to medal, saying, "For me the best reward is just to be here. Getting to the Olympics is like a medal for me."
  2. She has more than one job. Though she is an Olympian, she says her career is "really in the media." She is a successful model and TV personality in her native country and was asked to pose for the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in the US.
  3. Franco competed in the 2006 Miss Paraguay pageant as well as in the Miss Bikini Universe pageant.
  4. She's gaining popularity in the U.S. quickly. In just three years, Franco jumped from number 86 on AskMen.com's "Top 99 Women" list to number 64 in 2012.
  5. Her rising fame earned her a spot in Nike's 2012 "Look of Sport" campaign, in which she discussed the struggles she faced after her mother died in 2008. You want to go forward," she said. "But sometimes, going 'backward' isn‟t really going backward, it's actually moving forward."

Did you watch Franco at the Olympics? Tell us in the comments below!

Image via Getty Images

About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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