Arthur Nory Mariano became an overnight star after he won bronze during the men’s gymnastics floor exercise finals on Sunday. With his charm, boyish looks, million-dollar smile and, well, those arms, it’s not hard to see why suddenly everyone has fallen in love with the 22-year-old Brazilian. (Including the current Queen of Gymnastics Simone Biles!)
While Brazilians have been rooting for their home athletes throughout the Olympic Games, the men’s gymnastics team wasn’t expected to shine so brightly on the international stage. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to Brazil’s new gymnastics heartthrob. Read on for five things to know about the hunky athlete!
1. He’s Simone Biles’ ‘Brazilian Boyfriend’
Simone Biles knows a good thing when she sees it. The 19-year-old U.S. gymnast quickly declared Mariano her “Brazilian boyfriend” when the two met up in the Olympic Village in July, ahead of the Games. Biles let the world know about Mariano by posting a cute shot of the pair hugging on Twitter, captioning it “my Brazilian boyfriend” with a kiss and heart emoji.
But the love fest didn’t end there. Ahead of the Opening Ceremonies, Biles and Mariano traded cute flirtations on Snapchat, with Biles stealthy zooming in on Mariano at the athletes’ dining hall, writing “babe.” Mariano returned the compliment, also taking a snap of Biles (who happily beamed for Mariano alongside teammate Laurie Hernandez) and writing “my babe” with a heart emoji.
More than a week later, the two Olympians rejoiced in their medal wins on Sunday, with Mariano sharing shots of the pair holding up their big wins (a gold for Biles for vault and a bronze for Mariano for floor exercise) and smiling for the camera. Biles tweeted out her support, telling Mariano “congrats, so proud of you” after their competition.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Biles and Mariano have crossed paths. The Brazilian gymnast shared a shot of himself with Biles when they attended the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, proclaiming her “the best one.” (That isn’t an understatement, she dominated nearly every women’s category at the Championships, setting herself up as the clear favorite for the Olympics.) The pair clearly are close – he shared a photo of himself kissing Biles’ cheek (and sharing many hugs) after the Championships.
2. But Biles Has Some Competition
It’s no surprise, but Mariano is actually pretty popular with the ladies – especially his fellow gymnasts. The Brazilian has shared many shots of himself with various gorgeous gymnasts on Instagram and, at the start of the Olympics, he would watch coverage and draw hearts around his favorite female athletes on Snapchat.
Mariano appears to be especially close with fellow Brazilian gymnast Jade Barbosa, who is also competing in the Games this year. The pair often train together and often share shots of themselves playing around and posing for the camera on Instagram.
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Of course, Barbosa isn’t the only girl hanging out with Mariano – he has also shared shots of himself with Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade, Brazilian judo bronze medalist Mayra Aguiar and even Biles’ teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas.
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3. He’s into Cupping
Before it became a trend at this year’s Olympics, Mariano was using cupping treatments to help with his recovery after many, many hours of physical training.
In January, Mariano shared a photo of himself getting his shoulder treated with cupping therapy. “The end of the year is the time to take care to get well the next year,” Mariano wrote in Portuguese. “Thank you to my physio @ilanlg who believes in how far I can get.”
It appears that Mariano stuck with the cupping as he shared an adorable shot of himself in July with cup marks on his shoulder and sitting (shirtless) in a tub of ice.
4. Winning Bronze Was a Huge Deal
There’s a reason that Mariano broke down into tears after he won the bronze during the floor exercise finals on Sunday – it was totally unexpected. Initially, Mariano didn’t even qualify to move forward to the finals in the floor exercise but after other athletes were forced to drop out because of the “two-athletes-per-country” rule, he was allowed to advance.
After giving a stellar performance on the floor, Mariano landed in the No. 3 spot, but many thought he would soon be kicked out when other gymnastics stars took to the mat – including Team U.S.A.’s Sam Mikulak who was expected to medal in the event. However, Mikulak, who went last, made several errors during his performance, earning himself the No. 8 spot in the competition. After seeing Mikulak’s performance – and realizing his medaling dreams were becoming a reality – Mariano fell to the floor and covered his head while the judges prepared to release the scores. When it was confirmed that Mariano had won his country a bronze (and fellow teammate Diego Hypélito took the silver) the gymnast broke down into uncontrollable tears before waving to the screaming Brazilian fans.
In short, it was totally unexpected, but very well deserved.
5. He’s Easy on the Eyes
Mariano is known for his cute boyish looks in Brazil, and now the whole world has taken notice. NBC anchor Lester Holt even gushed about Mariano’s beautiful smile during the primetime airing of the floor exercise and fans around the world were clearly charmed by the Brazilian.
To be fair, can you really blame them?
Men’s and women’s gymnastics will continue through Tuesday. While Mariano is not competing in any more events, his teammates Francisco Barreto Jénior and Arthur Zanetti will take on their own individual events in the hopes of bringing home more medals for Brazil.