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.
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) February 9, 2018
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).
|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.|