RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – His racing attire is minimalist, but Michael Phelps — and family — are set to cut a fashion dash at the Rio Olympics.
Phelps, who can accessorize any wardrobe with 18 Olympic gold medals, has already used Facebook to show off his special 3D-printed shoes from sponsor Under Armour, which feature an image of his infant son Boomer s tiny footprint.
His selection to carry the US flag at the opening ceremony sparked the envy of longtime teammate and rival Ryan Lochte — not because Lochte begrudges him the honor but because of the special Ralph Lauren jacket that goes with the job — which features a glowing “USA” on the back spelled out by electroluminescent panels.
“I kind of want to steal that jacket,” said Lochte, who opted to make his Rio fashion statement with a new hair color — an aquatically blue-tinged silver.
It s a departure from the flashy mouth jewelry “grillz” he has sported at prior Games.
“I left my grillz at home so I was like I have got to do something different,” Lochte said. “So I said why not the hair? It s a little bold statement.”
Lochte, who turned 32 on Wednesday, said the color had the added advantage of covering up any gray that was creeping in.
That s certainly not a problem for Phelps s little Boomer — who is due to arrive in Rio with Phelps s fiancee, Nicole Johnson, to watch his papa swim.
Phelps said he d been receiving daily updates on his littlest fan, who was going to be dressed the part.
“He s going to have some cool outfits on for sure,” said Phelps, who has seen the preview pictures. “Boomer will be dressed to impress in the stands, that s for sure.”