Olympic swimmer, Tiernan Pace, has always been a player. The story of his defeat at Olympic Trials four years ago is well-known, as are the steps he took to numb the pain–boys, booze, a downward spiral that led to rock bottom. His climb back to the top hasn’t been an easy one; he hired a new coach, moved to Phoenix, AZ to train, and focused all his energy on getting back in shape for this year’s Olympic Trials. But was that all he was doing? Twenty-One Magazine can now exclusively reveal Tiernan Pace’s secret boyfriend, photographer Nik Cali.
Pace has been in the news all summer, chosen for a feature spot in Hot Shot Sports magazine. Pictures have been splashed across the internet, speculations on his chances of making the Olympic team this time around, analysts calculating his and everyone else’s odds, but during this media storm, what was Pace doing? Training? Of course. Strategizing? Undoubtedly. Sneaking away for unapproved kisses on the beach? Apparently so.
Four years ago, the internet was ablaze with stories of Pace, a young swimmer destined for greatness, derailed by partying, spotted every night out drinking, hooking up with nameless strangers. Pace came out as gay not long after his disastrous Trial run in 2020. Speculations flew about his suffering performance, placing the blame squarely on his shoulders.
The days of nameless strangers seem to be behind Pace, but he keeps things closer to the vest, including the details about his new boyfriend. We’ve dug up the dirt for you, and we can exclusively reveal the details about Nik Cali, and everything you wanted to know about him and Pace.
Nik Cali hails from Chicago by way of New York City, an aspiring photographer who landed a competitive internship with Hot Shot Sports magazine, and conveniently was assigned to work with Pace. Did work turn into play? Did Pace work his charm on Cali? Was Cali looking for a leg up in his career? Cali is notoriously absent on social media aside from a photography blog and other more private accounts. His Instagram is filled with shots of nature, cityscapes, and a singular intriguing photo with Pace.
There’s no word on when the affair started or if it’s the cause for Pace’s performance in today’s Butterfly event. When confronted with the photograph of him and Cali posted on Cali’s Instagram, Pace grew flustered, stuttering out a vague answer about things being “complicated.” What exactly that means remains to be seen. Cali goes to school in Chicago, almost 2,000 miles from Phoenix. Talk about a long-distance relationship.
The question remains: why keep it a secret? What was Pace trying to hide? Is he worried any poor performance could be attributed to this new boyfriend, a painful repeat of four years ago? Time will tell, but rest assured, we are on the case and will bring you updates as they’re revealed. Who is Nik Cali? Stay tuned to find out.