He’s back….and he’s still half-naked! Pita Taufatofua, the oiled-up Tonga flag bearer from the 2016 Olympics, returned for the Winter Games and he’s still buff as ever!
It’s currently 31-degrees in PyeongChang, South Korea, but don’t tell that to Pita Taufatofua, 34. The oiled, shirtless Tonga flag bearer who captured the hearts of viewers during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio games returned for the start of the Winter Olympics. When Tonga’s name was called during the Feb. 9 ceremony, out he came – without a shirt! While waving his country’s flag proudly, Pita smiled as the light glistened off his oiled chest. Now, that’s how you kick off the Olympics.
“It still feels quite strange actually being here because it took me 20 years to get to Rio, (and) just one year to get here,” the former youth worker told Reuters at the Pyeongchang athletes’ village on Feb. 8. “But, you know, it’s just an honor. I mean, how many countries in the Pacific get to go to a Winter Games?”
The Olympics are always known for their viral moments. The Rio 2016 Summer Games were no exception. One of the more remembered moments was the selfie that South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-ju took with North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jon. The two snapped a pic during a training session, according to CNN, signaling a moment of piece between the divided countries. With North Korea sending 22 athletes to march along South Korea during the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, this selfie seemed to indicate things to come between the neighbors.
The Tongan flagbearer says: “I won’t freeze. I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing.”
— Mark Staniforth (@markstani1) February 9, 2018
Usain Bolt’s smile during the 100-meter semifinal in the Rio Games might be the lasting image of the 2016 Games, if it wasn’t for a certain man from Tonga. Similarly, Michael Phelps’ angry scowl became the thing of memes. The 32-year-old was getting prepped for a race when his South African rival, Chad Le Clos, came walking by. With Michael’s hood pulled up, viewers compared his glare to that of The Emperor from Star Wars, before making some hilarious memes out of his mug. Michael got the last laugh, though. He took home five gold medals and a silver, raising his total to 28 overall.
HollywoodLifers, are you surprised that Pita returned — and still didn’t have a shirt!