The Shirtless, Oiled-Up Tongan Flag-Bearer Is Back


Two years after stealing the show as Tonga's flag bearer during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Taufatofua was back glistening beneath the fireworks in Pyeongchang on Friday.

The Tongan braved freezing cold conditions at the Opening Ceremony on Friday to repeat his star turn, waving his country's flag with his torso again liberally oiled. He's the only Tongan at this year's games, the first Tongan to appear in both the Winter and Summer Olympics, and most definitely the only one to do so in such an, ahem, attention-getting fashion. He managed to qualify in the cross-country skiing category.

Getty Images Tonga's Pita Taufatofua is a winter Olympian now.

Born in Australia but raised in Tonga, Taufatofua announced his plans to try to qualify for the Winter Olympics' "most hard sport" in December 2016.

"I put myself through a lot of challenge just to be here, so I can guarantee you it wasn't fun, but I'm an athlete and as an athlete you always give your absolute best at a competition", he told Pacific Beat earlier this year.

Prince Henrik was hospitalised for a lung infection last month, but his condition has "seriously worsened", as his son, who is an International Olympic Committee member, made the dash home.

He crowdsourced funds for his training and qualified for the Winter Games at the end of January 2018.

In the lead up to the ceremony, Taufatofua said that he would not repeat the stunt of walking out in traditional Tongan attire due to the extreme temperatures in the Taebaek Mountains. "I had seven races and they all failed".

Pita Taufatofua is going to keep making dreams come true, shirtless whenever possible. Some would even say that he already "won" the Olympics with his barely-there outfit and attention-grabbing display of skin.