Ryan Lochte's $25k American flag diamond grill designer revealed
London, Aug 2 (ANI): The designer behind Ryan Lochte's much talked about 25,000-dollar diamond-and-ruby-encrusted American flag grill, has been revealed to be none other than Houston rapper Paul Wall.
The nine-time Olympic medalist, who turns 28 on Friday, owns four sets of grills and has been sporting them as far back as the 2007 World Aquatics Championship in Melbourne, the Daily Mail reported.
Wall has run his celebrity-endorsed custom-grill business for the past 10 years with jeweler Johnny Dang.
According to XXLmag.com, Paul hand set the "fiery VVS diamonds and special order custom rubies," which cost about 1000 dollars per tooth, but he added that they made sure to give the swimming icon "an Olympic discount" for the glittering trinket.
The world-class swimmer said he wears grills as a "unique way of showing personality" in an interview last year.
But after winning the 400-meter Individual Medley race with a time of 4:05.18 last Saturday Lochte ran into trouble with his patriotic mouthpiece.
"Lochte told me he tried to wear his grill on the podium only to have an Olympics official tell him if he did so he wouldn't get his gold," ESPN's Wayne Drehs tweeted.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams told USA Today that he could "only speculate that it may have been a uniform issue, that it may not have been part of the uniform."
Since Wall made Lochte's grill for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing he did not forsee a problem with the American flag-themed bling.
"There [were] already pictures of him on the Internet with the other grill we made for him, so we didn't think the American flag grill was going to be as big of a deal as it is," Wall told RapFix.
"But I guess since he beat out Michael Phelps in such tremendous fashion and add to that the fact that it's the Olympics and it was an American flag, it added to all the hype around it. But it's exciting.
"Ryan represents a part of American culture. He represents anybody who has ever worn a grill or is a fan of hip-hop. It was a tremendous honor for us to make his grill. It just makes us feel like we're a part of team USA," he added.
Wall has in fact designed grills for three-time Olympic gold winner tennis champion Venus Williams and her sister two-time Olympic gold winner Serena Williams.
"What TV Johnny and I agreed to is this: any member of Team USA that wins a gold medal, we're gonna make them a free gold grill on the house," Wall said.
"This is our way of supporting Team USA. Anybody that win a gold medal, we gonna give them a free gold grill to commemorate their gold medal.
"I don't even know how to reach out to the gold medalists, but we just putting it out there. Anybody that wins a gold medal for Team USA, they are entitled to a free gold grill on us," he said. (ANI)
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