When you picture an Olympic athlete, bulging biceps and tanned torsos dripping with sweat often come to mind. But even the most superhuman of sport stars can suffer from poor eyesight (not just the ref!). So in the spirit of Rio, we’ve taken a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of sporting eyewear moments.
1. Dennis Taylor – snooker
This British snooker player is as well known for beating Steve Davis in the 1985 World Championship as he is for his trademark ‘upside-down’ glasses. Taylor wore his large frames in an unconventional manner to avoid peering over the top of his lenses when taking a shot. His fashion statement was replicated by fans and even scored a mention in a Chas & Dave song called ‘Snooker Loopy’ (listen out for Taylor singing ‘cos I wear these googles’)!
2. Edgar Davids – football
Nicknamed ‘The Pitbull’, this Dutchman stood out on the football field for more than just his dreadlocked hair. Davids first sported the above protective eyewear in 1999 following surgery on his right eye for glaucoma. FIFA gave him special permission to wear the googles, as well as using a type of eyewash normally banned under doping guidelines!
3. Geoff Blethyn – AFL
Geoff Blethyn may have suffered from short-sightedness but this didn’t stop the Aussie Rules legend from kicking over 100 goals for Essendon in a single season. As a junior, he would take to the field wearing steel rimmed specs before fullbacks complained that they were giving them cuts. Luckily, Blethyn’s optometrist saved the day with a pair of Clarke Kent-style nylon frames that featured hardened lenses and an elastic strap to keep them in place. The footballer’s fashion statement has since inspired a range of retro T-shirts called ‘1970s Footy Enigmas‘ – check ’em out!
4. Ato Boldon – athletics
Okay, Ato Boldon doesn’t actually need glasses but we thought these futuristic frames were too good not to mention! Alas they weren’t speedy enough to help the Trinidad and Tobago relay team progress to the 4 X 100m final at the Sydney Olympics.