• Winter Olympics 2018: Pita Taufatofua is back, oiled and carrying the Tongan flag

    By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Pita Taufatofua, the oiled-up Tongan athlete who became a Rio Summer Olympics sensation with fans is back in an Olympics opening ceremony.

    Taufatofua, Tonga’s only Winter Olympics athlete, carried the country’s flag, bare-chested, wearing his country’s traditional mat called a ta’ovala.

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    While it was similar to the costume worn in the Summer Olympics in 2016, the difference in Friday’s ceremony was the conditions. Taufatofua carried the flag shirtless, in flip-flops, in about 25 degree weather. That’s before the wind chill.

    In Rio’s Summer Games, Taufatofua competed in tae kwon do, but lost in his first match. In the Pyeongchang Olympics, he’s a cross-country skier.

    While the temperature was below freezing, Taufatofua did receive a warm welcome, especially on social media where comments went something like this:

     

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