TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- From the first day they arrived in Taipei for the 2017 Summer Universiade, the men's Dutch water polo team has soaked up attention from fans and media alike for their hunky good looks and rippling muscles, and they did not disappoint with their latest adventure to Dalongdong Bao'an Temple yesterday, reported CNA.
The strapping young swimmers were spotted yesterday afternoon at Dalongdong Bao'an Temple (大龍峒保安宮) in Taipei's Datong District where they were hit by a tsunami of fans and reporters.
The squad's captain Robin Lindhout told the media that they had heard the team had become popular in Taiwan, but did not get a chance to have a true a sense of it until they went out in public. Lindhout said he was not accustomed to all the attention because back home in the Netherlands they are not so well known. "The way things are with all the cameras and all the people welcoming us, it's even more special," said Lindhout.
Dutch athletes posing with Bravo the Bear. (CNA image)
Lindhout said that the temple was high on their list of places to visit and upon seeing it he said, "it's amazing to be here, with all the culture of Taiwan and Taipei."
Dutch athletes learning how to make incense offerings in temple. (CNA image)
During their visit to the temple, tour guides explained to the players the usage of the divination blocks and incense sticks.
Member of Dutch contingent poses with Bravo the Bear. (CNA image)
Dutch athlete Bilal Gbadamassi told the media that he enjoyed visiting the Taiwanese temple so much that he would like to see more. He also said that their rock star treatment by the press did not distract from their performance in the pool.
Regarding the team's performance in the pool, the team's coach Robin van Galen told CNA that his squad performed "pretty good" finishing in seventh with five wins and two losses.
Liindhout was not quite as satisfied with the result saying, "It's also below what we expected. We came here to fight for the medals, but unfortunately we have to deal with position number seven."
Traditional Taiwanese lions taking offerings from Dutch athletes. (CNA image)
Continuing a tour of old Taipei, the team also visited the Xia-Hai City God Temple on the famous Dihua Street.
Also with the team was Kira Toussaint, who took the gold in the women's 50 meter backstroke in the Universiade. Toussaint told reporters that she was looking forward to going out to celebrate her win during her last night in Taiwan. Both the water polo and swim teams return to the Netherlands today.
The media hype began when van Galen uploaded a photograph of the team in shirtless swim trunks that went viral on social media for their hot looks. Faccebook video footage of the Dutch water polo team training at a local indoor pool posted by The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taipei has garnered 73,000 views, 3,000 likes and more than 5,000 shares within a week.
Men snapt niets van waterpolo maar deze "positieve hype" is slechts ontstaan door 1 sexy foto van strakke mannen in te kleine zwembroeken. pic.twitter.com/817P4PL6C3— Robin van Galen (@Robinvangalen) 2017年8月17日
Two Dutch athletes tower over a fan. (CNA image)