All eyes will be on 23-year-old Ning Zetao when he jumps into the pool, and not just because of his swimming prowess. Ever since the Chinese swimming team arrived in Rio ahead of the games, Ning has become the focus of even foreign media, which likely has something to do with his incredible physique.
Photos of the swimmer taken during training, published on Ning's social media accounts, have gone viral online. The response to his dashing good looks has been overwhelming, with thousands taking to his Weibo page to gush over his assets.
Arden Cho, a Korean-American actress, recently reposted the training photos on her social networks with the comment: "Out with the girls & just jumped on #TeamChina. WOW, Ning Zetao...how can people say Asian guys aren't hot?"
The New York Times also called Ning Zetao one of the "handsome, talented and famous Olympians."
Tickets to events in which Ning will perform are in great demand. Several Chinese media outlets applied for tickets to watch the swimmer compete, only to be told: "Ning Zetao belongs to the world now. Reporters from across the globe are coming to watch him."
Mic, a U.S. news website, wrote: "Twitter has a new thirst god and his name is Ning Zetao. That's right. People on social media are freaking out over the 23-year-old Olympic swimmer, who will be representing team China at the summer games in Rio de Janeiro in the coming weeks. And Ning's thirst king status is not only lighting up your feed. It's also shattering stereotypes that Asian men can't be sex symbols."
This is the Ning Zetao's first Olympic games. His best events will be the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle, for which he currently holds the Asia record. Despite the media focus and attention from crazy fans, Ning has managed to remain calm and focused.