Pita does it again: shirtless in PyeongChang

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Shirtless in South Korea!

Pita has done it again. Having been shirtless for Rio 2016, Tonga’s flagbearer braved the cold to go bare-chested at the Opening Ceremony for PyeongChang 2018.

The Taekwondo player-turned-cross country skier surprised everyone by getting out the coconut oil once more before entering the freezing Olympic Plaza topless.

Speculation had been rife in the build-up over what the 34-year-old would wear.

But few expected him to repeat his performance of two years ago that captured the world’s attention and pretty much broke the internet. Surely not at a Winter Games?

However, Taufatofua is a man to be reckoned with.

Viral sensation

With only a traditional Tongan tapa cloth skirt to protect him against the elements in PyeongChang, Pita entered the arena. And instantly became a viral sensation for the second time.

His mental determination to battle against elements and adversity is not in doubt.

After all, just getting to South Korea was an achievement in itself.

Taekwondo to cross country skiing

Having represented his country at Rio 2016 in Taekwondo, Pita put his mind on being present at PyeongChang 2018. His chosen sport: cross country skiing.

An incredible challenge for a man that had not seen snow until two years ago.

But the Pacific Islander somehow managed to find a way – making it to his second Olympics through a last-ditch qualifying event in Iceland.

His dream had been realised. The opportunity to get those glistening pecs out once more had arrived.

He will now take part in the 15km freestyle cross country skiing event in PyeongChang on February 16th.

Even Pita might put on a shirt for that.

 

 

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Author: Stephen Hannon
Stephen Hannon is the Head of News at Olympic Channel, the digital platform launched by the IOC.