Whoa! That’s one way to get noticed. The crowd freaked over one of the flagbearers at the Olympics opening ceremony on Aug. 5. Why? He came out totally bare-chested and greased up! Read on for details on the mysteriously, glistening flagbearer from Tonga.
His name is Pita Nikolas Taufatofua, 32, and it’s safe to say he is probably Tonga’s hero right now. When he came out dressed in nothing but a ta’ovala (Tongan mat) wrapped around his waist and a TON of oil, the crowd went wild, it was probably one of the most epic moment from the Parade of Nations. Let’s just say, Pita was looking FIERCE and Rio NOTICED. You’d think coming from a country who doesn’t get a lot of recognition at the Olympics — with just a small delegation and one medal in its whole history — Pita might have been shy, but it doesn’t look like it!
Pita qualified for the Olympics through the Oceania taekwondo qualification tournament this year, but failed at his two previous attempts, according to USA Today. A web page on generosity.com was set up to raise money for his training and it states that he, “sacrificed his whole adult life working in homeless shelters with the underprivileged.” Wow. He raised $6,262 dollars in four months through the site.
Other than that, all we know about Pita is that he was born in Australia, lives and trains in New Zealand, and is competing for Tonga because it’s his father’s native country. Keep in mind, Tonga has a mere seven athletes competing in this year’s games. Go, Pita!
According to one of Pita’s friends, the idea to come out greased up in all his glory was totally Pita’s. “This is the first time Tonga has done something like that,” Jacinta Sitapa told USA Today. “It was important to Pita. He is very patriotic and loves Tongan culture. He didn’t know if he was going to be picked to carry the flag, but if he did he strongly felt that it should be something that represented the country.” And represent them he did.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Pita’s look at the opening ceremony? Let us know below!