Shirtless Tongan Pita Taufatofua grabs Olympic attention again

Violet Powell
February 10, 2018

Pita Taufatofua, the shirtless Tongan pole-bearer famous for his chiseled abs, made a freezing return to Pyeongchang's 2018 Winter Olympics and, yes, he was bare chested again.

After his first race, qualification for the Winter Olympics seemed a long shot. The display of Tonga Winter Olympics pride will air tonight in America, but here's a sneak peek of what's to come.

In fact, Tonga has only ever had one other competitor qualify during the Winter Olympics' entire history: a luge racer in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games named Bruno Banani. "We have to just go through the blizzard, '" Taufatofua says.

Remember Pita Taufatofua from the Summer Olympics in Rio? Could I do a new sport, the hardest I could think of, in a year?

"I put myself through a lot of challenge just to be here, so I can guarantee you it wasn't fun, but I'm an athlete and as an athlete you always give your absolute best at a competition", he told Pacific Beat earlier this year.

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.

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"We got to Iceland and a big snow storm had blocked all the roads - they had four or five avalanches that wiped the roads out".

As for his Opening Ceremony attire - or rather lack of it - Taufatofua admitted the freezing temperatures were very much on his mind.

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

Taufatofua instantly won the gold medal for online memes and jokes.

Pita Taufatofua is back, shiny and topless as ever, despite the 32-degree Fahrenheit temperature during Friday's Opening Ceremonies.

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