Miles Chamley-Watson, Mikaela Mayer, and Colleen Quigley give special meaning to the term ‘model Olympians’. Literally. Models turned Olympic athletes, all three athletes have experience in both.
Chamley-Watson, a USA fencer and male fashionista in one, is now a two-time Olympian. The son to a former model, fashion ran in his genes. He has since worked with designers and modeled for Vogue and Vanity Fair. However, the foil comes first, and fencing is his number one priority. He just hopes to make the sport more attractive to others (but literally).
So far he is the first American male fencer to win an individual Senior World Cup Championship title and has earned himself a bronze medal in these Games. He also has his own signature move named the “Chamley-Watson”.
A photo posted by Miles Chamley-Watson (@mchamleywatson) on Jul 4, 2016 at 11:27am PDT
A decade ago Mayer enjoyed to party and dabbled in various sports and modeling gigs. Now she is an Olympian and a three-time USA Boxing National Champion. Not bad for someone who started boxing at 17 years old after a random visit to a kickboxing studio. People discouraged her boxing career and commented that she was “too old”. Now, she is one fight away from an Olympic gold medal.
A photo posted by MIKAELA MAYER (@mikaelamayer) on Jun 18, 2016 at 4:16pm PDT
She still occasionally models for different brands like JLEW Bags and One x Wonder, but credits boxing as her passion and for giving her life purpose. She is living a dream come true as she always believed she would eventually compete at this level, despite the difficulty.
Quigley, the steeplechase star, felt quite the opposite. Per her website, she “never grew up saying she wanted to be an Olympic athlete”. Yet she dismissed her modeling career with Wilhelmina models (think: gigs with Seventeen magazine, Glamour, Macy’s, and Nordstrom on her resume) for a track scholarship at Florida State University. A decision she calls the best of her life.
Now a top contender in the Rio Olympics 3000m steeplechase final, Quigley gave up editorial shoots for the chance at an Olympic medal and has since become “passionate about food and the steeplechase”.
I’d say the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” most certainly applies in this case. All three Olympians’ stories demonstrate that with the right amount of perseverance, one can have a variety of passions AND a shot at Olympic glory.