Leryn Dahiana Franco Stenery was born on March 1, 1982, in Asunción, Paraguay. Because of her natural beauty and her inclination toward athletics, she decided to put both interests to good use by pursuing a sporting career and seeking out modeling experience at the same time. On the sporting side of things, Leryn Franco first gained attention in athletics by competing nationally in the javelin throw and the triple jump in 1998.
As a participant in the under-17 group, Leryn Franco surpassed all expectations by breaking national records in each sport, proving that her athletic abilities should be taken seriously. Leryn Franco eventually chose the javelin throw as her area of expertise, winning a pair of bronze medals in 1999 and 2000 at the South American Junior Championships before walking away with top honors at the 2001 event. Three years later, she won the national championship in the under-23 age group, showing that she had the chops to win at a national level and compete higher on an international scale.
Leryn Franco at 2004 summer olympics
Leryn Franco's strong showing at the national championship, coupled with her appearance at the 2003 Pan Am Games, gave her a taste of intense national and international competition. It was now time for her to perform on the grandest stage of all at the Olympics and, in 2004, she was off to Athens to do just that. Competing in the javelin throw, Leryn Franco threw her javelin only 50.37 meters, which placed her at a disappointing No. 42 at the end of competition.
Despite not having achieved the success she wanted in her first Olympic go-around, Leryn Franco continued to practice her favorite sport and devoted some of her free time to modeling. In 2006, she entered a pair of beauty competitions -- the Miss Bikini Universe Pageant and the Miss Paraguay Pageant -- where she finished in second place. At this point, Leryn was content with her modeling accomplishments but was also aching for more Olympic action.
Leryn Franco at the 2008 summer olympics
In 2007, Leryn Franco continued her modeling career by appearing in her very own calendar -- another first for her -- that came from the gifted lens of reputed photographer Martin Crespo. Although it was a success, Leryn Franco was eager for more javelin and, with the help of hefty sponsorships, she got another chance to compete in the Olympics, this time at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Even though Leryn Franco won another shot at an Olympic medal and also gained notoriety through her participation in the opening ceremonies, it was all for naught, as she finished second-to-last at the Games.
While Leryn Franco may not have enjoyed the kind of Olympics success that she wanted, she has still earned the chance to represent her country twice at the biggest javelin competition in the world. She's also forged a successful path in modeling that promises to be brighter and racier in the near future. Word on the street is that her 2009 calendar will feature some particularly revealing photos that will likely make it a top-seller. Whether or not she participates in any future Olympics remains to be seen, but for now, Leryn Franco has her choice of picking up the javelin again or continuing with modeling.
Leryn Franco makes 2009 top 99
In January 2009, Leryn Franco made AM's Top 99 list for the first time. She debuted at No. 86 on AskMen.com's Top 99 Most Desirable Women.