An Olympian Coup

Leslie Kwok was a national swimmer who represented Singapore at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. I also remember that he was also one of the hottest male model of his time and a sighting of him at fashion events would send a legion of adoring fans in attendance swooning.

Les retired from modeling more than 10 years ago to concentrate on his career. He is now a successful entrepreneur who manages a wellness chain as well as a portfolio of retail operations. With little distractions to his days besides business and DOTA, I gave him a call one afternoon and asked if he'd like to come on a trip with me and perhaps stage a comeback of sorts from his public retirement. The discussions went on, and of course he raised concerns over his less than perfect physique and general lack of presence on social media. When we were through with all that, the question of a suitable location came next.

Maldives was initially proposed, as was Indonesia but we felt that the location needed to be more exotic and unexplored. In the end we settled on Sri Lanka, a magnificent island republic 3000 years in the making that is rich in history, culture and natural endowments. We finally concluded the itinerary by mid September and departed for Sri Lanka soon after.

Les remarked to me right before the trip that Sri Lanka was never a destination he'd considered visiting but when the opportunity loomed ahead through our recommendations, he got pretty excited about the impending adventure. Over the next 2 weeks we circled the Island of Jewels and visited 10 luxury resorts in such diverse regions at times it didn't feel like we were still in the same country. The trip had marked a couple of virgin experiences for him and he now counts swimming in a jungle river, crossing the plains on elephant back and stalking leopards on safari as cherished memories from Sri Lanka courtesy of LCO.

Several videos and a photo spread of Leslie Kwok now mark his return to the scene after a decade long departure. Some fans had gushed on our Facebook posts that he still looks the same.

We respectfully disagree. Echoing the motto of his almer mater, it is quite clear to us that for Mr Kwok, the best is yet to be.

It wasn't particularly blistering throughout the trip but after one morning stroll through the tea plantations at high elevation 'Black-White Kwok' presented some serious challenges to my styling/photography skills.

Les harboured reservations regarding his physique right up to the moment we left for Sri Lanka. Major eye-rolling occurred over such conversations with him.