Shirtless Tongan Athlete Is Back For 2018 Winter Olympics

One of the highlights of 2016 Summer Olympics was Pita Taufatofua, flag bearer for Tonga, during the opening ceremony. The moment he entered the Maracanã Stadium for the Parade of Nations he became a media sensation.

Wearing just a necklace and traditional ta’ovala, a Tongan mat, his muscled, oiled body and handsome face captured the world’s attention.

Representing the tiny South Pacific nation in taekwondo, Taufatofua was unfortunately eliminated in his first bout.

But, as I recently reported, the Tongan athlete decided he didn’t want to wait four years to compete at the Olympics again so in an improbable and incredible journey he learned how to cross-country ski in one year.

He traveled the world to participate in qualifying races and, amazingly, finds himself at the 2018 Winter Olympics as only the second athlete from Tonga to ever qualify for a Winter Games.

And he didn’t disappoint during the opening ceremonies today as he once again carried his country’s flag (yes, shirtless) during the Parade of Nations.

This guy just kills me. True Olympic spirit.