Arthur Nory Mariano coming to Hong Kong Fashion Walk as Rio Olympics gymnastics hunk promotes World Cup
Rio bronze medallist will meet his fans at Causeway Bay street shopping complex on June 13 as he gets VIP treatment during his Hong Kong stay
Brazilian gymnast heartthrob Arthur Nory Mariano is set to make his first starry appearance in Hong Kong with Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay bracing for a considerable turnout.
Ever since the 24-year-old won bronze in the floor exercise at the Rio Olympics, his popularity has soared worldwide with more than 1.5 million followers on his Instagram account.
Mariano, who is part Japanese, will arrive in Hong Kong on June 12 and appear at Fashion Walk the following day to help promote the trendy area as well as the World Cup.
In Rio two years ago, Mariano became an overnight star with his charm, boyish good looks and million-dollar smile – complete with his athleticism – winning millions of fans at the Games.
Organisers will roll out the red carpet for the Brazilian who will have his own security team, limousine, gym, assistant and flat arranged for him. He will kick off “Fashion Walk King of Sports” an event that aims at promoting sportsmanship through a series of activities to celebrate the World Cup and the Asian Games in Jakarta this summer.
Mariano is looking forward to his first trip to Hong Kong with Fashion Walk, a street shopping complex in the heart of Causeway Bay, expecting a good turnout from fans hoping to catch a glimpse of him.
His many fans include American four-time Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles who called Mariano “my Brazilian boyfriend” during the Rio Games.
“I am very excited to be coming to Hong Kong for the first time and although I have never been to the city, I have seen photos of Hong Kong from social media and I can feel the city’s prosperity and energy,” said the Brazilian, who will compete in a tournament straight after his Hong Kong visit.
“I have heard of Causeway Bay and its trendy area! I will buy some sports clothes. If anybody sees me buying clothes, please say hi to me.”
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) July 29, 2016
While in Hong Kong, Mariano will take part in fun activities lined up at the complex.
He said although he is a gymnast, he follows soccer closely and will be supporting Brazil and Japan at the World Cup in Russia, which gets underway next week.
“Because Brazil is a huge soccer-loving country, I played soccer when I was young,” Mariano said.
“Being a Brazilian athlete, of course I will support my compatriots at the World Cup. I hope Brazil will become kings again. Japan is also my other home and I hope Japan will do well in the tournament.”
Mariano is no stranger to controversy.
In 2015, he and his Brazilian teammates Felipe Arakawa and Henrique Flores were suspended from the Brazilian national team for a month, after publishing a Snapchat video in which they appeared to make racist jokes to a black teammate, Angelo Assuncao.
Mariano published another video apologising for the incident. Assuncao later forgave him, saying he hoped Mariano “behaves like a medal winner outside the arena, too”.