The last time Nathan Ikon Crumpton was marching with his fellow Olympians, he was surely sweating in the sweltering summer heat.
This time around, the Park City resident was dressed for summer, even if the temperatures in Beijing had dipped well below freezing.
Crumpton, carrying the flag of American Samoa, marched through National Stadium shirtless and in native dress during Friday’s opening ceremony.
Crumpton followed in the tradition of Tongan summer and winter Olympian Pita Taufatofua, who appeared shirtless during ceremonies in 2016, 2018 and last year in Tokyo.
“Usually you have a year break so that you can recalibrate and you can shift,” he said in an interview last summer. “And it feels like I’m having to do this all at more than double speed to make it all happen.”
But for Crumpton, the chance to compete in the Olympics has made sacrifice worth it.
“Pursuing the Olympic dream is about personal ambition and pushing my body to the limits and about how far I can go, how far I can take the body,” he said last year. “But it’s also about the universality and the solidarity of it. I mean, coming together, especially someone like myself who has a very international background, someone who was born in Kenya and has Chinese and Polynesian roots and European roots. Being able to come together and enjoy the international fraternity? It’s a huge part of it. For sure.”