The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards got a little more golden this past Sunday night when over 40 Olympians joined the stars in the celebration. From legendary Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who scored three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Games in Montreal to Nick Goepper, the 19 year-old reigning Winter X Games champion who will be at Sochi representing the US for the inaugural slopestyle skiing, some of the best athletes ever to attain Olympic gold shared the red carpet with the likes of Julia Roberts, Leonardo Di Caprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon and Orlando Bloom, in a grand meeting of Sports and Hollywood.
Inaugurated last year when eight prominent Olympians walked the carpet, the HFPA has seized the synergy with our sponsoring network NBC who will soon broadcast the 22nd Winter Games from February 7-23, where over 6,000 athletes plus 1650 Para Olympians from 85 countries will compete.
But before that gold is gotten, these men and women got the chance to experience the Golden Globes up close and personal; some from inside the actual show, others by attending the “Gold Meets Golden” viewing and after party atop the roof at the Beverly Hilton as part of the NBC/Universal-hosted soirée.
The list of Olympic luminaries included Mary Lou Retton, Bart Conner, Apolo Anton Ono, Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen. Kerri Walsh, Alison Felix, Nastia Liukin, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Jarryd Wallace, Tim Morehouse, Eric Shanteau, Rebecca Soni, Jessica Hardy, Misty May Treanor, Tony Azevado and Greg Louganis; for many it was their first time mingling up-close with the Hollywood royalty and the two factions could not have been more at ease.
At the “Gold Meets Golden” after party, an “Olympic Village” was set up; complete with such memorabilia as official torches from the past eight games to a collection of some of the Olympians’ actual medals. Stars such as Kerry Washington, Chris Hemsworth, Sofia Vergara, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Hayden Panettiere and Ryan Kavanaugh mingled and expressed their support to the athletes.
Stars were encouraged to sign the “Team USA” message board, offering their well wishes to the soon-to-be-departing competitors and at the same time send some video greetings to Olympians not present; they will be used during the games to encourage the participants.
Jimmy Fallon summed up the evening well the evening when he got his chance to meet and greet and quickly proclaimed, “The Olympians are awesome!”
The HFPA wishes all athletes from around the world the best of luck in their personal endeavors to be the best they can. Maybe next year we will see you on our red carpet again – with some fresh gold!