Pita Taufatofua, the shirtless Olympic athlete from Tonga, is back at the Olympic Games.
You’ll recall he became an overnight sensation at the 2016 Rio Games when he appeared in the opening ceremony’s Parade of Nations in a traditional (shirtless) Tongan costume. Even though he lost his first taekwondo match, he was one of the most memorable athletes to emerge from the games.
Two years later, he competed at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He was the only member of Team Tonga at the event where he competed in cross-country skiing. He is only the second Tongan to ever compete in a Winter Olympics. Luger Bruno Banani was the first in 2014.
Taufatofua will compete in his original sport of taekwondo at his 3rd Olympic Games in Tokyo.
His worldwide acclaim has led him to become a motivational speaker and a UNICEF ambassador working with homeless charities.
The Twitterverse was thrilled to see the handsome athlete return.
“The hot, shirtless Tongan flagbearer from Rio is BACK!”
Pita Taufatofua became an overnight sensation five years ago when he marched shirtless and in a traditional Tongan outfit at the opening ceremonies in 2016 and 2018. He is back for #Tokyo2020. https://t.co/lSzzr8Lsf4 pic.twitter.com/bT2HlMoKhO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 23, 2021
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 23, 2021
— Mr Adam R (@MrAdamR) July 23, 2021
— Shreyas Reddy (@shreyas_k_reddy) July 23, 2021
— Goran (@GoranVR) July 23, 2021
— Jamie Blynn (@jamieblynn) July 23, 2021
— GontseLeroleFan (@FanGontse) July 23, 2021