12:15 PM PDT 8/8/2012 by Georg Szalai, Chris Godley, Scott Roxborough, Rebecca Leffler
The London 2012 Summer Olympics have cemented Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt as a global star. But the Games have also produced new stars in Europe where the Olympics have been watched live in prime time. Here is THR's look at some of them.
Before Jessica Ennis won the gold medal in the heptathlon, her looks and smile already made her a marketer's dream. Experts expect that the track star, called by some the face of the London 2012 Olympics, will now be in line to become one of the most marketable women in world sports. Her current sponsorship deals include ones with Powerade, skincare brand Olay and carmaker Jaguar.
Camille Lacourt, France, swimming
French press have nicknamed swimmer Camille Lacourt “the pretty face of the pool.” The hunky hero won gold in the men’s 50 meter backstroke, and female fans from across the globe have been declaring their love for him via Twitter. Lacourt’s adventures out of the water are also attracting attention. The swimmer is currently dating Miss France 2008 Valerie Begue, and the two are expecting a child.
Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Great Britain, triathlon
British brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee won gold and bronze in the triathlon. The elder brother, Alistair, nearly had his Olympic dreams crushed earlier this year when he suffered an achilles tear. But he fought back and crossed the Olympic finish line with a British flag over his shoulders to loud cheers. Jonny put in a similarly heroic effort that saw him collapse at the finish.
Dorian Van Rijsselberge, Netherlands, windsurfing
The 190 centimeter-tall Dorian Van Rijsselberge, who shaved his head just before the Olympics, won windsurfing gold and emerged as a true Flying Dutchman. In addition to his looks, he also showed off some style, flashing the "hang loose" sign with his hand from his coach¹s boat. The large Dutch flag he had flying from the boat must have also pleased his fans at home.
Laura Trott, Great Britain, cycling
20-year-old Laura Trott has pedaled into Olympic history with two gold medals at her first Olympics. Prince Harry was among the crowd that celebrated her second one, which helped Great Britain exceed its Beijing 2008 gold medal count in London and make the home Games its most successful since 1908. A modest Trott told the BBC: "I can't believe this is happening to me, I really can't."
Yannick Agnel, France, swimming
Yannick Agnel won two gold medals and is making a splash in France. He beat U.S. superstar Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter freestyle and also swam the anchor leg as France won the 4x100 meter relay. USA Today called him Lochte’s “new nemesis," and French paper Le Parisien wrote that Agnel's performance was “huge” and "exceptional.” Agnel thanked fans for their social media messages. "They’re my motors, my invisible propellers,” he said.
Michael Jung, Germany, equestrian
Rising German equestrian star Michael Jung won gold medals in individual eventing and team eventing. "Golden-Boy!" (a word play on Jung's surname, which sounds like "boy" in German) trumpeted tabloid newspaper Bild. Jung is the first rider to ever win the riding triple - world championship, European championship and Olympic Gold. And he did it on his 30th birthday in front of Princes William and Harry.
Marianne Vos, The Netherlands, cycling
Marianne Vos won a gold medal in the women's road race in what was a ratings hit in the Netherlands, with nearly 2 million viewers in the nation of 15 million. Olympic gold marked the end of years of frustration for Vos, who finished sixth at the Beijing Olympics and has been runner-up in the last five consecutive world road race championships. Vos tweeted a picture of herself after her win with the short message: "Couldn't put the feeling after GOLD in 140 characters; reason 4 no tweet so far. Pic says best."
Tony Estanguet, France, canoe
France's Tony Estanguet won a gold medal in the individual canoe slalom in London. Little known outside of France, this is in fact his third gold medal in the event after winning in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004. But French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron called his win a “magnificent victory” and described Estanguet as “probably the athlete who best symbolizes Olympic values.”
Bradley Wiggins, Great Britain, cycling
Bradley Wiggins won one of the first two gold medals for Team Great Britain, helping end an early gold draught for the hosts of the Summer Games with his win in the time trial event. It made Wiggins one of Britain's most successful Olympians, and having won the Tour de France this year, Wiggins is now Britain's undisputed pedal star. Tabloid Daily Mirror simply called him a "cycling hero."