February 22, 2018

Winnipeg
-15° C, Sunny

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Cold medal: Shirtless Tongan grabs Olympic attention again

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of - Pita Taufatofua has shown once again he's willing to give the shirt off his back for Tonga in Olympic conditions, whether it be sun, snow or shine.

Less than two years after shooting to international fame when he walked shirtless and oiled-up into the opening ceremony of the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Taufatofua was bare chested again when he carried the Tongan flag into the opener of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Friday.

Taufatofua competed in taekwondo in Rio, and is back competing in cross-country skiing, despite representing a tropical south Pacific island nation where it doesn't snow.

Clearly, he considers himself a well-oiled machine.

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 111 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Hope you enjoyed your trial.

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 111 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of - Pita Taufatofua has shown once again he's willing to give the shirt off his back for Tonga in Olympic conditions, whether it be sun, snow or shine.

Less than two years after shooting to international fame when he walked shirtless and oiled-up into the opening ceremony of the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Taufatofua was bare chested again when he carried the Tongan flag into the opener of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Friday.

Pita Taufatofua carries the flag of Tonga during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Pita Taufatofua carries the flag of Tonga during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Taufatofua competed in taekwondo in Rio, and is back competing in cross-country skiing, despite representing a tropical south Pacific island nation where it doesn't snow.

Clearly, he considers himself a well-oiled machine.

"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 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."


More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.