In addition to all the athletic feats, the Olympic games in Rio have also included some gruesome injuries, threats from contaminated water and the Zika virus, and swimmer Ryan Lochte getting himself into all kinds of trouble. All that drama calls to mind a different game, HBO fantasy series "Game of Thrones," and a certain Australian high jumper with a familiar name has made that comparison even more apt.
Brandon Starc, a 22-year-old from Sydney, made headlines over the weekend with an impressive showing in the qualifying round, earning him a spot in the high jump final on Tuesday. But it's the similarity of his name to a "Thrones" character -- Brandon "Bran" Stark -- that attracted the attention of HBO fans.
Plenty of people noted the coincidence on Twitter, with fans tweeting out jokes about Starc's miraculous ability to compete in sports at all (Bran is paralyzed on the show), and creating the "Thrones"-esque hashtag #HouseStarc, a reference to the Winterfell's storied first family. There were also a few competing references to the Three-Eyed Raven, with Australian animals the wombat and kookaburra both getting shout-outs. Even the official Athletics Australia account got in on the fun.
— Christopher Fischer (@toph1980) August 15, 2016
— rachel (@titsarelit) August 16, 2016
— john dimabayao (@julius_john) August 16, 2016
Just watched Brandon Starc compete in the High Jump... Strange, coz I thought he's actually better at the Long Drop pic.twitter.com/GB1HXxXO4B
— Kate Ellora (@katellora) August 15, 2016
— Fiona (@federering) August 15, 2016
— VeronicaS (@ronniebecray) August 15, 2016
You're the 3-eyed wombat now, Australian high jumper Brandon Starc.
— Aaron S. Weber (@Short_epics) August 15, 2016
— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) August 16, 2016
Though Starc has yet to say anything about the "Thrones" comparisons (we can't imagine this is the first time he's heard such comments), he did take to Twitter over the weekend to thank all his supporters, new and old, for the love.
So overwhelmed with the amount of support from close and far. Thank you all so much. Time to recover and go bigger in the final!
— Brandon Starc (@Brandonstarc93) August 15, 2016
Our fingers are crossed that the Olympian can make his dreams come true. If not, expect some disappointed "Thrones" fans to take over your Twitter feed.
[via: Entertainment Weekly, Vulture]
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect recent reports by Brazilian authorities that Ryan Lochte and other U.S. swimmers fabricated their account of being held up at gunpoint.
Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images