Olympian Ryan Lochte Loves Hip HopAugust 6th, 2012
By: Dan Reagans
Only in America will you find freedom with a catch, especially if you’re an avid hip hop fan and utilize the culture to express yourself. Face it, a large part of the nation enjoy and take part in hip hop culture but many of the powers that be choose not to embrace the art form. The latest example of this took place on the world’s biggest stage at the 2012 Olympics.
When Team USA gold medalist Ryan Lochte won the 400-meter IM race in London, he wanted to wear his 25k custom-made American flag diamond encrusted grill to the ceremony. But the young Olympian who was thrilled to have just brought his country a huge victory was banned from doing so.
If Lochte would have donned his fronts, purchased from Texas rapper/jeweler Paul Wall, I’m sure for just this occasion, he was warned that there would be consequences. He would forfeit the chance to receive the coveted hardware.
After you’ve spent 25 racks to shine like other Paul Wall grill bearers, French Montana, Meek Mill and Big Sean, not to mention the year of hard work, preparation and and hopes of winning, to be threatened with such harsh action for simply expressing your joy at the achievement is a major blow.
Although some might dismiss Lochte love of grills as a gimmick or cheesy publicity stunt, this isn’t the first time the 27-year old sported grills while on his trophy run. He rocked them at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he took home the bronze. A native New Yorker, Lochte says his grills were just another way for him to express himself and his love for hip hop.
“It’s just a unique way off showing my personality out to everyone” the swimmer stated in a YouTube Q&A about his mouth jewelry.
How unpatriotic it was for Olympic officials not to let him sport his spirited red white and blue diamond dental wear. I guess other Olympic hopefuls should stay clear of getting face tattoos, piercings or wearing Islamic kufi’s to the pulpit podium. Better yet someone ought to send out a memo that says focus, drive, dedication, and victory will only be rewarded provided you DON’T express yourself via any cultural norms practiced in the hip hop community.