Kobe Bryant and Australian Swimmer Stephanie Rice’s Olympic Date Fuels Romance Reports

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The Australian press is aflutter with reports that an Olympic swimmer from Down Under has caught the eye of basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the London Games.

Bryan, 33, was spotted taking in the action of the Woman’s Cycling event Tuesday with Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice, 24.

Photographed laughing and chatting throughout the track cycling event, the two athletes certainly looked like they enjoy each other’s company.

The Australia press has been whispering about the couple since last month after Rice took to Twitter to talk about meeting Bryant. What did Rice say that started the rumors?

Rumors about the pair started after the swimmer posted a photo of herself with the basketballer on July 20.

To mark their first meeting, Bryant and Rice even exchanged gifts. Bryant gave Rice a pair of signed sneakers saying, “To Stephanie, be epic.” And the young swimmer gave the basketballer two swim caps according to the Daily Telegraph.

However, after their cycling “date” the Australian rumor mill went into overdrive. There’s one problem though — Bryant’s estranged wife Vanessa, 30, and the couple’s two children, Natalia, 9, and Gianna, 6, are also in London for the Games. The couple split in December, but were then seen kissing after a basketball game in February. Since then, the Bryants’ relationship has remained unclear. Rice, however, is no stranger to Olympic Village romance.

During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Rice was linked to greatest Olympian of all time, fellow swimmer Michael Phelps, after the pair were reportedly spotted locking lips. Her hot hook up was just months after she split up with longterm boyfriend and fellow Australian Olympian Eamon Sullivan — who made the 50m freestyle final in London.