Tired of Ryan Lochte? Let’s Celebrate Olympian Amini Fonua Instead!

Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua

By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)

If you’re like most people, you are probably fed up by increasingly ridiculous and infuriating Ryan Lochte story. To that end, let’s take a moment to spotlight an Olympic swimmer who is far more deserving of our attention instead.

Most American Twitter users were first introduced Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua in the aftermath of that absolutely horrifying Daily Beast piece in which a reporter doxxed several closeted Olympians.

The openly gay Fonua’s ensuing tweetstorm about the lives of gay athletes was both eloquent and enlightening.

As the Games went on, Fonua’s followers got an inside look at life inside the Olympic village, drama and all.

But most encouragingly of all, Fonua did something in Rio that more athletes should do after the Games wind down: he thanked the city for its generosity. Before leaving Brazil, Fonua made it a point to walk around the Olympic village handing out ice cream to volunteers as a way of showing his appreciation.

“We love you, Brazil. We love the volunteers. Thank you for all the hard work you’re doing; some of us appreciate what you do for us.”

Watch the video below:



After hearing Ryan Lochte practically bathe in his privilege over the last few days, this video — and Fonua’s obvious sincerity — is the palate cleaner we didn’t even know we needed.

Lakshmi Gandhi
Lakshmi Gandhi

Lakshmi Gandhi is a journalist and pop culture writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in Metro New York, NBC Asian America and NPR’s Code Switch blog, among other sites. She likes it when readers tweet her @LakshmiGandhi with their thoughts on Asian American issues and romance novels.

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