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15 Hot Beauty Queens Who Dated Athletes

by: Esteban On  Saturday, September 15, 2012

beauty queen wags dated athletes ryan lochte olivia culpo

Did you hear the big news? Ryan Lochte, the notorious playboy and most eligible bachelor from the 2012 Summer Olympics, has finally settled on a girlfriend. Like, for realz. And the lucky girl? That would be none other than Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo.

OMG, right?

No? You don’t really care? Well, neither do I. However, I do enjoy looking at the hot wives and girlfriends of famous athletes to distract me from the daily grind. And this new sports power couple opens up a window of opportunity to talk about a variety of sports WAGs that doesn’t get as much attention as other varieties.

You see, an awful lot of top athletes seem to have a predilection for supermodels—particularly those of the Victoria’s Secret variety. However, over the years, beauty pageants have also been a steady supply of sports WAGs. And why not, right? Often these women just as attractive as the models, but they’re classier—you know, because they wear tiaras.

So today, partly in honor of Ryan Lochte and Olivia Culpo, but mostly just because, we present you with this list of 15 hot beauty queens who dated athletes. Enjoy!

15. Chelsea Cooley

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Chelsea here won Miss North Carolina Teen USA in 2000 and Miss USA in 2005. For a while she was linked to Mr. Head & Shoulders Minnesota, Joe Mauer. However, apparently Joe realized a Twin Cities boy couldn’t be with a Tar Heel, so he broke it off. Now he’s engaged to Maddie Bisanz…who went to the same high school he did.

14. Shanna Moakler

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Shanna Moakler—Miss USA 1995—is probably more famous for being a Playboy model and former wife of Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker. But the fact is she’s also the baby mama of The Golden Boy himself—Oscar De La Hoya. The two were together for about two years in the late 90s, but broke up after she spotted him at the Latin Grammy’s with another woman. (Smooth, Oscar.)

13. Imogen Thomas

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These days Imogen Thomas is best-known as the secret extramarital lover of Welsh soccer player Ryan Giggs (it was quite the scandal in the UK), but she’s also been romantically linked with Matthew Collins, Nery Castillo, and Jermain Defoe. So she’s got a thing for EPL players. In any case, Imogen got her big break into the world glamor modeling by winning the Miss Wales pageant in 2003.

12. Carrie Prejean

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If her name sounds familiar to you, that’s because this is the Miss USA 2009 runner up who ignited a controversy when she stated her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman during the Q&A portion of the competition. After that, she became the villain of same-sex marriage advocates and the hero of the Christian right.

Anyway, in 2010 she put her money where her mouth is by marrying a dude: former NFL QB Kyle Boller.

11. Rima Fakih

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In 2010, Rima Fakih, who is of Lebanese decent, became the first Arab-American (and probably the first Muslim) to win the Miss USA crown. Then she started dating Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero. Then she got arrested for drunk driving. Now she’s not dating Ricky Romero anymore.


10. Vanessa Williams

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Vanessa Williams was the first black woman to win the Miss America title in 1983. Then she became the first black woman to have the Miss America title stripped from her because, ironically, she had stripped for a photographer several years earlier.

You see, after winning Miss America, the photographer who took the photos (a man she had worked for) started looking to sell them. First he called Hugh Hefner, but Hef said “no thanks” because he knew Vanessa hadn’t consented to them being published and he didn’t want to ruin her career. However, Bob Gucione, the publisher of Penthouse, had no such moral qualms. So he bought the pics and published them in 1984.

Of course, luckily, none of this ended up hurting Williams’ career. And in 1999 she married basketball player Rick Fox (her second marriage), with whom she had one child before discovering he was a philandering douche.

9. Maria Jose Suarez

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Maria here was Miss Spain 1996. In 2005 she started dating Spanish tennis player Feliciano Lopez, who is 6 years her junior and not exactly a superstar. From there she moved on to horse jockey Fernando Sada, who also is not exactly a superstar.

8. Olivia Culpo

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I have a gut feeling that Ms. Culpo here should be higher up on this list. However, you can’t just rush into these sorts of things. Like many or most of you, I just heard of her. So I need to let her hotness ruminate for a while. In the meantime, I think #8 is quite respectable.

7. Lorena Bernal

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Lorena won the Miss Spain title in 1999 at the age of just 17, then went on to a top 10 finish at the Miss Universe pageant. Today she’s married to Spanish soccer player Mikel Arteta, who plays midfield for Arsenal.

6. Giorgia Palmas

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Giorgia won the Miss World Italy title in 2000, then took second place at the Miss World pageant that same year. After that she pretty much just became a professional hot chick—model, TV presenter, etc.—and dated Italian soccer player Davide Bombardini for a while.

5. Vanessa Minnillo

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Yes, Nick Lachey’s wife (not fair) was a beauty queen and a WAG at one point. In 1998 she won the Miss Teen USA crown, and in 2003 she had a brief gig as the girlfriend of The Captain himself, Derek Jeter.

Aaaaaaand now she’s married to Nick Lachey. Of course, that makes her still sort of a sports WAG, because Lachey is part-owner of the triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

4. Kenya Moore

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Holy moly, Kenya Moore. Holy. Moly.

This beauty won the Miss USA title in 1993, then placed 5th at the Miss Universe contest. As for her WAG-ness, Moore accompanied Mr. Terrell Owens to the ESPYs in 2010, and although the two never made it official, they looked awfully cozy.

3. Victoria Lopyreva

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This Cosmo and Maxim model won the Miss Russia crown in 2003. That, in turn, made her eligible to date the most handsome man in hockey: Alex Ovechkin.


2. Alena Seredova

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This gorgeous Czech model got her start by finishing second at Miss Czech Republic and fourth at Miss World in 1998. (Who the hell finished first at Miss Czech Republic 1998?) She started dating legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon some time in the mid 2000s. By 2009 they had two kids together, and then in 2011 they officially tied the knot. (I guess they didn’t want to rush into things.)

1. Zuleyka Rivera

1 zuleyka rivera

This Puerto Rican goddess won the Miss Universe title in 2006 and could have had any one of the numerous superrich baseball players. Instead, she fell in love with the country’s greatest basketball player—Minnesota point guard JJ Barea.

Hey, the heart wants what the heart wants, right?