The 2004 Summer Olympics proved to be huge for Olympic tae kwon do fighter Steven Lopez, who took home the gold at the Athens games. But little did he know that in addition to endorsement deals, he would be approached for a different kind of gig.
That year, ABC producers for The Bachelor couldn't take their eyes off the then-25-year-old Nicaraguan hottie, and wanted him to follow in the footsteps of season 5 star, Jesse Palmer, a football player.
But Lopez wasn't looking for love at the time.
"I haven't really given it a second thought just because I'm training for the Olympics," he said in an August 5, 2004, interview with the Houston Chronicle, "and I think that is just a tad bit more important than anything else at this moment."
Now 33 years old and still an eligible bachelor, the two-time gold medalist, who is gearing up for the 2012 London Olympics later this month, tried his hand at love on the Fox dating show The Choice.
During Thursday's episode, he sat alongside other celebrity bachelors Rob Kardashian, actor/comedian Finesse Mitchell and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, while female contestants tried to pitch themselves for a date. Lopez chose five lucky ladies, three of which went into his dating pool. His final pick was Angelica, a girl-next-door type who "loves to volunteer and cook."
Want more Olympics? Meet Team USA's families, go inside their homes (and gyms!), and more! Check out Us Weekly's Olympic collectors edition, "American Heroes," on newsstands now. Order at bn.com/usolympics.
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