Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

The Shirtless, Oiled-Up Tongan Flag-Bearer Is Back

The Shirtless, Oiled-Up Tongan Flag-Bearer Is Back

With the temperature feeling like -10 C in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tonga's flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua made another slick impression at an Olympic opening ceremony.

The 34-year-old, who went viral when he stepped into the limelight at the opening ceremony in Brazil, told the Olympic Channel that he had made it after a last ditch attempt in Iceland.

With frigid temperatures in South Korea on Friday, people in the stands for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics were given a raincoat, a blanket, a knit cap, a warm seat cushion and multiple hand and feet warmers.

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"I won't freeze", Taufatofua said ahead of the ceremony.

That nearly wasn't the case, however, as Taufatofua said ahead of the ceremony that he didn't plan on going topless again because of the extreme temperatures expected in South Korea, The Independent reports. Pictured: The Olympic rings are seen at the Alpesia Cross Country Centre during previews ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 4, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. For the first time, TV viewers in all United States time zones will have access to live coverage of the Games, instead of a delayed replay. Taufatofua has turned in his taekwondo belt for a set of cross country skis.

"You know look at the conditions, it's like freezing, it's negative a million degrees, and then you've got to put your body through something really challenging."

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In Rio, Taufatofua lost his opening taekwondo bout to Iranian Sajjad Mardani by a score of 16-1.

Taufatofua qualified for cross-country skiing event at the games in PyongChang.

Any medals won by the OAR athletes will be greeted by the Olympic anthem rather than the familiar "Gimn Rossiiskoi Federatsii". The athlete will compete as a cross-country skier in the games, and he perviously said: "I want to still be alive for my race".

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