Tonga’s oiled-up, shirtless signal bearer once again captured the world’s adoring gape during the course of its Olympics opening ceremonies — this time, in frigid wintertime weather.
“I won’t freeze. I am from Tonga. We skippered in all the regions of the Pacific. This is nothing, ” Pita Taufatofua told the Olympics’ news service. “It’s a little bit warmer being in Rio than in now … but anytime you get to represent your country is a good time.”
Taufatofua, 34, became a viral excitement during the 2016 Summer Olympics, and he’s doing it all over again. This time, audiences are in awe of his commitment to bearing the 32 -degree weather in Pyeongchang — without the benefit of a shirt or pants.
Fans from all over the world took to Twitter to root for Taufatofua and the country he represents.
Taufatofua is, in fact, the ONLY representative for Tonga — and he had to learn a completely new sport exactly to compete . strong>
Since Tonga is an island country, its Winter Olympic representation has been understandably sparse. But Taufatofua, who emulated in taekwondo during the course of its Rio Olympics, had his nerve set on participating in 2018. To qualify for the Pyeongchang Games, he learned cross-country skiing in exactly a year, all while living in a person where it actually doesn’t snow. He said he’d never even checked snow until two years ago.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, ” he said about the sport.
But, inspiringly, all his schooling paid for by — Taufatofua has become precisely the second player from Tonga to ever qualify for the Winter Olympics.
While U.S. contestants ponder who should have carried their country’s pennant, Taufatofua is just happy to be here . strong>
Tonga’s inspiring storey comparisons with a debate encircling the U.S. pennant bearer. Gold-winning velocity skater Shani Davis bounced the ceremony after saying he was unfairly passed over in favor of luge competitor Erin Hamlin during a tie-breaking silver toss.
Meanwhile, Taufatofua is continuing to promote the send of life-changing inspiration that has offset him more than time a nice face to millions of followers around the globe.
The Olympics are about global solidarity. And nothing fosters harmony like an exciting narrative of overcoming suffering … and perfectly shined pecs.
In the move to rally gold medals, it’s easy to forget the games were created to foster peace and unity amongst the world’s people. Even as we marvel at his impressive physique, it’s good to be reminded of Taufatofua’s bigger sense: “It’s really an honor. I signify, how many countries in the Pacific get to go to a Winter Recreation? “
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