‘Kim Jong-un’ a sensation at Rio Olympics as Hong Kong-based lookalike flies flag for North Korea
Australian-Hongkonger lit up Reddit thread with gif at Rio athletics event
A Hong Kong-based Kim Jong-un impersonator at the Olympics has been wowing fans and setting the internet abuzz with his antics in Rio.
Australian-Hongkonger ‘Howard’ has been impersonating North Korea’s Dear Leader for several years now, and hit the front page of social media site Reddit with his latest appearance in Brazil.
He was spotted by TV cameras waving the PRK flag at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday night – and in a very un-Dear Leader gesture, gave the millions watching at home the middle finger.
“Most people find it funny whilst some think I’m the real guy,” Howard told the South China Morning Post about his escapades in Brazil before heading to the USA-Spain basketball semi-final.
“Most Brazilians think I’m [K-Pop star] Psy.”
‘Kim’ was taken aback by how much attention he’s been getting online “Type into Google ‘Kim Jong Un Rio Olympics’ and you will know what I mean,” he added.
A photo posted by Kim Jong Un Lookalike (@kimjongunlookalike) on Aug 15, 2016 at 8:09am PDT
“I will be celebrating by inviting all the best-looking Brazilian girls to be my official concubines at my personal harem in North Korea.”
Kim has photographed with a few athletes at the Games – including Hong Kong marathon runner Christy Yiu Kit-ching.
— Kim Jong Um (@KimJongUnDouble) August 15, 2016
And the Supreme Leader said Hong Kong should pay attention to the way Brazilians live their lives.
“I love Brazil, especially Brazilian music. People there can learn a lot from the Brazilians in how to let their hair down and have a good time. HK People work too hard!” he said.
One Reddit user commented, “I honestly have no idea if this is real or fake,” after a clip of Howard waving the flag went viral on the site that calls itself “the front page of the internet”.
“How do we know it’s not just [the real] Kim Jong-un trying to cover for himself so no one actually thinks he’s there?,” said another.
“You know the North Korean ‘News’ will show this to the public and say he’s immortal and competing at the Olympics,” one joked.
Earlier in Rio this week North Korean gymnast Ri Se-gwang fought back tears on the podium despite winning gold in the men’s vault. Some people speculated that it was because he now has to return to the dictatorship.
He insisted: “I was filled with joy because I thought I was able to bring a sense of victory to our leader.”
WATCH: golden moments on Day 13 at the Rio Olympics
Howard says he’s the first and original Kim impersonator and is happy to cash in on the gifts nature gave him. He first dressed up as him as an April Fool’s gag in 2013 and immediately landed a burger commercial on Israeli TV.
“I got that stupid haircut – it’s f***ing horrible – and I already owned one of those Mao suits. Back in 1997, I wore it for the Hong Kong handover parties. Also, I’ve got his body shape and I eat a lot so I’ve got a double chin – no need for props. I took some photos, uploaded them to Facebook, and an Israeli production house found me. They were producing a commercial for the competitor of McDonald’s, Burger Ranch,” he told Vice magazine.
In real life he says he’s a musician, though he never reveals his family name.
He came to attention in Hong Kong last year after disrupting a local broadcast of the state funeral of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.
Another Hong Kong Kim Jong-un impersonator known as Jeremy hit the headlines last year after “making out with 30 or 40 girls” at the Hong Kong Sevens.