Olympic swimming champion Ryan Lochte has rapper Paul Wall to thank for designing the patriotic diamond and ruby mouthpiece he wore as he stepped up to collect his gold medal at the London 2012 Games on Saturday (28Jul12).
The American athlete claimed first place in the men's 400-metre individual medley final at the weekend and he celebrated by showing off a custom-made grill, decorated in the stars and stripes of the U.S. flag, as he was presented with his award on the Olympic podium.
And Wall admits he couldn't be more proud - because he and his business partner Johnny Dang were responsible for making the elaborate piece of jewellery popular among the hip-hop community.
He tells XxlMag.com, "For him to represent us and our culture, the grill culture, it's just shining a light on hip-hop in the Olympics. Everyone's talking about it... it's just an incredible thing to be part of. I'm just honoured to be part of it. There's not too many world-class swimmers wearing our grill.
"For him to have the American flag in his mouth like that shows great patriotism! What he has in his mouth is all hand crafted. Every diamond is set by hand - one by one, prong set and all custom red rubies. Of course we gave him an Olympic discount."