Freezing temps can't stop Tonga's glistening flag bearer

11 February, 2018, 04:58 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Tongan flagbearer goes shirtless again for opening ceremony in freezing temps

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua made a name for himself at the Rio Olympics when he marched shirtless into the arena before competing in judo.

Due to its warm climate, there's not a lot of athletes performing Winter themed sports, so Taufatofua is the only athlete from Tonga participating in the Winter Olympics this year. He lost his first match and then made a decision to pick up a winter sport so he could compete this year, making him the first Tongan to participate in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Sticking with the whole, "I don't care what the weather says it is I'm dressing like it's summer" theme of the Opening Ceremony, Bermuda decided to make their grand debut in shorts. "It's going to be freezing, so I will be keeping nice and warm", he said. The display of Tonga Winter Olympics pride will air tonight in America, but here's a sneak peek of what's to come. Come on, now - you know Taufatofua better than that!

Why did he choose cross-country skiing to begin with?

"I was so far behind all these professional skiers that I thought: 'wow, this is so hard, what have I gotten myself into?'" One of the more remembered moments was the selfie that South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-ju took with North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jon.


But really, what can top what Tonga flag bearer Pita Taufatofua already did at the opening ceremony?

His determination paid off, and with his final result and ranking points from roller skiing races, Taufatofua did enough to qualify for the Winter Games.

He said: 'I'm still alive today, so I was honest.

GSC: Do you plan to wear the same thing for this year's opening ceremonies?

At the 2016 Olympics, Pita competed in Taekwondo, but lost to Iran's Sajjad Mardani in his very first match.

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