Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Tongan flag bearer once again marches at Opening Ceremony shirtless

Tongan flag bearer once again marches at Opening Ceremony shirtless

Less than two years after shooting to global 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.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea-For months before the Winter Olympics, even before he actually qualified, the shirtless Tongan flag-bearer was asked if he planned to be the shirtless Tongan flag-bearer again.

Taufatofua isn't just a two-time Olympian.

According to PyeongChang 2018 media release he said, "I want to still be alive for my race. It's going to be freezing, so I will be keeping nice and warm", Taufatofua said last week.

Taufatofua only took up cross-country skiing a year ago, and left his Olympic qualifying late. But he will certainly be opting for warmer clothing at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium than he did in Rio.

Taufatofua stole the attention of the world when he entered the Rio opening ceremony shirtless and oiled up.

Taufatofua first skied in January 2017, having previously seen snow once in his life.

With no snow in Tonga or near his Brisbane base in Australia, Taufatofua's training regimen began with running on sand dunes with wooden planks strapped to his feet.

Taufatofua's cross-country skiing adventure may only be a brief interlude before he refocuses on taekwondo, a sport that has given him six broken bones, three torn ligaments and hundreds of hours of rehabilitation.

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