He's back: Tonga’s shirtless, oily flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua appears at the Winter Olympics
Pita Taufatofua stuck to his signature look from the 2016 Summer Games, even in subzero temperatures.
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Glistening beneath a layer of oil, the shirtless Tongan flag-bearer whose torso mesmerized the world at the 2016 Summer Olympics is back again for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Pita Taufatofua committed to the slick look as he carried his nation’s flag into the opening ceremonies Friday — apparently unfazed by frigid, subzero temperatures. He and his well-defined abs first shot to international stardom after he wore the same outfit at the much-warmer Rio Games two years ago.
"I won't freeze. I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing," he was quoted as saying by the Olympic news service. "It's a little bit warmer being in Rio than in here...but anytime you get to represent your country is a good time."
Taufatofua competed in taekwondo in Rio. Despite living in a nation with no snow, he qualified for the Winter Games in cross-country skiing.
The athlete only took up cross-country skiing last year, and left his Olympic qualifying late.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever done," he said. "Taekwondo is intense, someone's trying to kick your head in. Skiing, you have pain for an hour. Do you like short pain or long pain? But I love them both."
With files from Associated Press