Tonga Flag Bearer Goes Shirtless At Olympic Opening Ceremony Despite Freezing Temperatures

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Photo Credit: Michael Kappeler/picture-alliance/Cover Images

Tongan flagbearer Pita Taufatofua once again stole the show at the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

After becoming a viral sensation at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Taufatofua once again oiled up and made the walk shirtless at the 2018 Winter Games despite the Opening Ceremony taking place in freezing temperatures at the outdoor Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.

Ahead of the Opening Ceremony, Taufatofua indicated he would not go shirtless due to the extreme cold.

“I want to still be alive for my race,” Taufatofua said, via USA TODAY. “It is going to be freezing outside so I will be keeping nice and warm.”

He obviously had a change of heart.

And just like that, Taufatofua has solidified himself as one of the stars in this year’s Olympics even if he is unable to reach the medal podium.

It was a blistering 22 degrees.

Taufatofua competed in taekwondo at the Rio Games.

In Pyeongchang, the 34-year-old athlete will be competing in cross-country. Taufatofua qualified for the Winter Olympics after he quit his job as a social worker and underwent an intense training regime.

Prior to beginning his cross-country training, he had never seen snow.

Taufatofua was born in Australia and raised in Tonga.

The cross-country schedule for the 2018 Olympic Games can be seen below (all times Eastern).

DATE EVENT TIME
Saturday, Feb. 10 Women’s 7.5 km Skiathlon 2:15 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 11 Men’s 15 km Skiathlon 1:15 a.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 14 Men’s/Women’s individual sprint 3:30 a.m., 6:00 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15 Women’s 10 km individual 1:30 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 16 Men’s 15 km individual 1:00 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17 Women’s 4×5 km relay 4:30 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18 Men’s 4×10 km relay 1:15 a.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 21 Men’s and Women’s team sprint semifinals/finals 3:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24 Men’s 50 km mass start 12:00 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 25 Women’s 30 km mass start 1:15 a.m.

 

CAMPUSSPORTS Writer
CAMPUSSPORTS Writer
Josh studied journalism at Seton Hill University. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Sports. Josh is currently a member of the FWAA and USBWA. His work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, FOXSports.com, CBSSports.com and many others.
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