American Samoa Olympian goes topless at freezing Beijing opening | Inquirer Sports

American Samoa Olympian goes topless at freezing Beijing opening

/ 12:20 AM February 05, 2022

American Samoa's flag bearer Nathan Crumpton takes part in the parade of athletes during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, at the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

American Samoa’s flag bearer Nathan Crumpton takes part in the parade of athletes during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, at the National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. (AFP)

BEIJING – American Samoa flag-bearer Nathan Crumpton added to a fledgling Olympic tradition by appearing shirtless and with his torso gleaming at the Beijing Winter Games opening ceremony on Friday despite sub-zero temperatures.

The 36-year-old skeleton racer took his turn in the athletes’ parade as the sole competitor from the US territory, wearing only the skirt-like traditional lavalava and sandals.

Crumpton follows in the footsteps of oiled-up Tongan Olympian Pita Taufatofua, who started the chilly trend.

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Despite the mercury falling well below freezing at the “Bird’s Nest” stadium in Beijing, Crumpton appeared unfazed. He was flanked by cheering volunteers decked in thick puffer jackets and gloves.

Taufatofua’s first bare-chested appearance at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio won him global Internet fans with Tongan media calling him “the hottest man today in a town that’s known for its appreciation of the body beautiful”.

Taufatofua, who had done taekwondo in Rio, repeated his feat at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after he qualified as a cross-country skier.

His toned torso was challenged at the Tokyo Games opening ceremony last year by a rival topless parader from Vanuatu, Riilio Rii.

Taufatofua is sitting out the Winter Games in Beijing but he gave Crumpton his support from afar on Friday, tweeting a photo of the athlete at the Beijing ceremony with the caption: “American Samoa holding the fort.”

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TAGS: Beijing, Beijing 2022, Winter Olympics

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