Pita Nikolas Aufatofua
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Rio Olympics athletes who could win fashion and beauty deals

Pita Nikolas Aufatofua

Who can identify the sport that Pita Nikolas Aufatofua was competing in at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics? It probably doesn’t matter because he’ll be forever remembered as the oiled-up, shirt-off flag bearer for Tonga. Even if he doesn’t win a medal, he could snare an endorsement. “It’ll probably be on the cheesier side of things than a prestigious commercial,” said Andy Hohl, who manages athletes such as Laird Hamilton at Artist & Brand Management in Los Angeles.

 (Semansky/AP/REX/Shutterstock / Semansky/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Aly Raisman

Having won two gold medals and a bronze at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Aly Raisman arrived at this year’s games in Rio with endorsements from Aeropostale and other brands. With her natural charm, as seen in a silly selfie taken after the women’s team won the gold medal, she could be on her way to add more deals.

 (Julio Cortez/AP/REX/Shutterstock / Julio Cortez/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Simone Manuel

Tying with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak in the 100-meter freestyle race, Simone Manuel made history — and turned out as a surprise star — when she became the first African-American women to win an individual swimming competition at the Olympics. The tears she shed over her victory endeared her to those watching.

 (Pisarenko/AP/REX/Shutterstock / Pisarenko/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Simone Biles

Aside from being recognized as the best American gymnast of all time and serving as a role model for North West, Simone Biles is on the verge of leaping into more ad campaigns. Tide and Hershey’s have already featured her in their TV commercials. A typical teenager, she loves playing with make-up and jewelry. As Andy Hohl, talent brand manager at Artist & Brand Management in Los Angeles, put it, “Now we live in an age where people look to knock people down for whatever reason. You can’t really knock her down at all. She’s a genuine person and has a bubbliness. It appeals to the masses.”

 (Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock / Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock)
Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps

Bros and Olympic champions, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps will always be. But as bankable frontmen for brands? The breakout star of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Lochte snagged his own reality TV show and an ad campaign with Calvin Klein. His personality didn’t seem to resonate with the public, however. Phelps has lucrative deals with brands such as Under Armour. But his two past DUIs and leaked bong-smoking photos don’t make him the most squeaky clean spokesman.

 (Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock / Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Laurie Hernandez

Laurie Hernandez made a splash at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics with her effervescent personality and tumbling skills. With her Kewpie doll face accented expertly with cat-eye liner, big smile and curly locks, the Puerto Rican-American would be a catch for a beauty brand. “You want to keep your eyes open for the athlete who leaps off the stage,” said Daniel Durbin, director of USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society the University of Southern California.

 (J. Perenson/CSM/REX/Shutterstock / J. Perenson/CSM/REX/Shutterstock)
Katie Ledecky

The future is looking bright for 19-year-old Katie Ledecky. It’s not just the gold medals that she won at the Rio 2016 Summer Games. Andy Hohl, talent brand manager at Artist & Brand Management in Los Angeles, said, “I definitely think she’s going to pop after this Olympics.”

 (Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock / Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock)
Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey confessed to having suffered a panic attack the day after she won a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. She picked herself back up, and morphed into a successful UFC fighter and role model for women. For the past two years, she’s also served as a brand ambassador and unofficial jeans fit model for Buffalo David Bitton.

 (David Becker / Getty Images for Buffalo David B)
Sydney McLaughlin

At 17, Sydney McLaughlin became the youngest athlete to make the American track and field Olympics team since 1972. The high school senior from New Jersey is also at the start of what could be a promising career as a celebrity spokesmodel. The honor of being named the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year entailed the printing of her photo on the popular energy drink. She also smiled big in a floral minidress when she was singled out at this year’s ESPY Awards.

 (J. Phillip/AP/REX/Shutterstock / J. Phillip/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Shaunae Miller

Shaunae Miller and her aqua-tinted hair first walked across the small screen when she carried the flag for the Bahamas in the 2016 Rio Olympics’ opening ceremony. Her dive across the finish line in the 400-meter sprint earned her a gold medal and a memorable meme. Still, when it comes to building a fan following, a little meme can go a long way.

 (Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock / Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Aly Raisman

Aeropostale had such faith in Aly Raisman, who had won multiple medals in the London 2012 Summer Games, that it unveiled her back-to-school denim ad in June, a month before she made the women’s team destined for the Rio Games. In the teen clothing retailer’s campaign, she performed a floor routine in its stretchy denim.

 (PR NEWSWIRE)
April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings

Iconix Brand Group’s Vinny Nesi, who works on athletic brands such as Starter and Umbro, views beach volleyball players April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings as role models. “They’re not teenagers and they relate to every woman,” he said.

 (Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock / Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
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