Swimmer swaps pool for beauty business

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 November, 2008, 12:00am

Perhaps the last place you would expect to find a male swimmer who is a double Olympic gold medallist would be manning a small stand at Hong Kong's annual Cosmoprof beauty products exhibition.

Especially Michael Klim, who also happens to be from Australia, a land perhaps more traditionally associated with macho stereotypes than metrosexuality.

But not any more, according to the former freestyle and butterfly champion. Australian products were displayed on 62 of the stands at the trade show last week - the most of any nation.

I'm a metrosexual,' he said, while promoting his male and baby-specific skincare range 'Milk' - the swimmer's name spelt backwards.

'After spending 25 years in chlorinated pools, often in the sunshine, it means you are used to treating your skin to stop it from drying out,' he said.

With the Olympian's signature bald dome, towering physique and beautiful Balinese wife Lindy working alongside him at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, the stand certainly attracted plenty of interest.

And the tiny stand in the cavernous convention centre might seem a long way from the celebrity of professional swimming, but Mr Klim said he could not be happier.

He has moved on from swimming and says he enjoys using his mind to do business rather than his body.

'Men aren't afraid to spend money to look their best these days,' he said. 'Young professionals want to be on the top of their game, whether that means with the best qualifications or really good skin.'

And babies?

'Well, mothers want the best for their babies. They want to spend money on their babies. Kids are constantly running around with number 11s [runny noses] and we have one product called Snotty Grotty Room Spray, which helps clear them up.'

Mr Klim says he is enjoying his return to Hong Kong.

'The last time I was here, I was swimming,' he said, referring to the World Short-Course Championships in 1999. 'It's great to be able to get out and enjoy the city, it's got so much energy.'