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Nathan Crumpton is Opening Ceremony’s New Shirtless, Oiled-Up Athlete


Fans of oiled-up, shirtless Pacific islanders seemed destined to be disappointed after the Tongan taekwondo and cross-country skiing athlete Pita Taufatofua, hero of 2016, ’18 and the Tokyo Games last year, said he would not be coming to the Beijing Games.

But surprise! Who should appear in the parade of nations on Friday, but another shirtless athlete in native dress, Nathan Crumpton, who carried the flag of American Samoa, which is a U.S. territory.

A Princeton man, Crumpton ran the 100 meters in Tokyo last year, finishing last in his preliminary heat. For these Games, Crumpton will compete in skeleton, becoming the 140th athlete to compete in both summer and winter sports in the Olympics, matching Taufatofua’s feat.

Crumpton trains in Park City, Utah, and is also a model and photographer.

Taufatofua created a sensation in Rio de Janeiro when he turned up carrying the Tongan flag in native dress, shirtless and covered in coconut oil, his sculptured torso gleaming. He later appeared on the “Today” show, and the hosts enthusiastically re-oiled him.

He gave cross-country skiing a try in 2018 and returned for taekwondo last year in Tokyo. He never placed highly, but his good nature, earnestness and, well, chiseled body, gained him many fans.

He said he would skip the 2022 Games though, in part so he could help out with disaster relief in his country, which was hit by a devastating tsunami in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption last month.


Circassia News

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