The Paris Olympics in 2024 is set to feature breakdancing, surfing and skateboarding as competitive categories but next year’s (postponed) games could see something even more unexpected.
Australian singer Cody Simpson is best known for his crooning ability, which is why his fans were surprised to learn that the 23-year-old has qualified for the Australian Olympic trials. Simpson swam the 100m butterfly in 54.9 seconds against a qualifying benchmark of 56.87.
As his coach, Brett Hawke said: “Not bad for a pop star.”
Simpson shared his exciting news on his Instagram account with a caption reading, in part, “I just qualified for my first Olympic trials. I’d love to share this personal milestone and let you in on my current journey as an athlete that I’ve kept relatively low key until now…For years I had been fuelled by the silent fire in my stomach of returning to my first love, the sport of swimming, with the idea that 2020 would be my year to have a crack at training again.”
The singer continued, “It is my greatest ambition to expand the limit and perceived notion of what’s possible for a man to achieve in a single lifetime, and I’m here to tell you can do absolutely ANYTHING if you are willing to work for it…I’m looking forward to seeing where this all takes me on the long road ahead!”
While Simpson’s hidden talent did come as something of a surprise, he’s hardly the first celebrity to harbour one.
Here are five other celebrities who possess secret skills…
Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon is revered for her roles in films such as Dead Man Walking, Lorenzo’s Oil and Thelma and Louise, but when she isn’t captivating us with her impeccable acting chops, she’s kicking butt on the ping pong table. A skilled table tennis player, Sarandon has turned her passion into profit by opening a series of ping pong clubs across the United States.
Said Sarandon in 2009, “I love the whole idea that it crosses all gender and age barriers… you can have little girls beating muscley 35-year-old men.” Incidentally, her Thelma and Louise co-star Geena Davis also has a special skill. Davis was a professional archer who competed in the sport in the 1999 Olympic semi-finals. No wonder they were such a formidable pair.
Fans of sitcom How I Met Your Mother will recall that Harris, as Barney Stinson, was forever using magic tricks as one of his many tactics for enticing women into his bed. Turns out that Harris is a magician in real life too, although for decidedly more honourable reasons than his TV counterpart.
The actor’s love of magic manifested itself during his formative years when he was growing up in a small town in New Mexico. In a 2017 interview with ABC, Harris recalled, “I’d save up my allowance and I’d go to the mall to the magic store called Fool’s Paradise and buy whatever I could: little packet tricks, and you don’t know the secret until you buy it.”
Is there anything this girl can’t do? In addition to being a phenomenal singer, songwriter and just all-round amazing human, Swift is also something of a domestic goddess who can whip up a batch of jams or jellies in a jiffy! And, like everything the Folklore singer does, the jam is amazing — just ask Taylor herself who said, “I don’t mean to brag, but it’s so good, you could just eat it with a spoon. You can put it on anything. You can dip pretzels into it.” Gimme.
Elliot Page doesn’t just juggle acting commitments and advocacy work like a pro, the actor is also incredibly talented at the act of juggling itself. Page can even alternate and change direction or shape when demonstrating the skill, explaining during an appearance on late-night talk show Conan that he had learned how to juggle when he was young because there weren’t a lot of kids around for him to play with.
The legendary folk singer doesn’t exactly need another revenue stream after selling his entire music catalogue for a rumoured $300 million, but if he did, the answer could lie in iron. In addition to being one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in history, Dylan is also a talented artist who can sculpt incredible works of art from the metal. His work has been shown at several galleries in New York and can also be seen at a casino in Maryland after the MGM National Harbor commissioned a giant sculptural archway from the Grammy winner.