Tongan flag bearer goes shirtless again for Olympics Opening Ceremony


Taufatofua, again carrying the Tongan flag, brought cheers from the crowd as he entered shirtless and glistening with oil - just as he did in the much warmer Rio opening ceremony.

"Olympic opening ceremony tonight!"

A lover of sport - and perhaps his moment in the spotlight - he made a decision to set his sights on the Winter Olympics. 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.

Taufatofua had announced his intention to become Tonga's first male Olympic cross-country skier at the end of 2016 as he looked for a new challenge after exiting the Rio taekwondo competition in the first round.

Taufatofua only took up cross-country skiing a year ago, and left his Olympic qualifying late.

Shirtless and oiled-up Pita Taufatofua carries the flag of Tonga during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics
Tonga's Taufatofua completes switch from taekwondo to cross-country skiing

But that didn't stop the representative for Tonga, flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua, from showing up in the bare minimum of clothing - literally.

Born in Australia but raised in Tonga, Taufatofua announced his plans to try to qualify for the Winter Olympics' "most hard sport" in December 2016.

He announced in December 2016 he was taking a break from taekwondo in an attempt to qualify for the Winter Games, despite having no prior ski-ing experience.

As the head of state, he took part in both North-South summits in Pyongyang, meeting South Korean president Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and his successor Roh Moo-hyun seven years later.

"I want to still be alive for my race", Taufatofua said. "I mean, how many countries in the Pacific get to go to a Winter Games?" Some would even say that he already "won" the Olympics with his barely-there outfit and attention-grabbing display of skin.