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Pita Taufatofua, Shirtless Tongan, Makes Freezing Olympics Return

Image: Pita Taufatofua, Shirtless Tongan, Makes Freezing Olympics Return

Pita Taufatofua carries the flag of Tonga during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics on Friday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By    |   Friday, 09 February 2018 01:02 PM

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.

The taekwondo fighter and cross-country skier shot to fame after his appearance at the 2016 Summer Olympics Opening in Rio de Janeiro where he was participating in the taekwondo competition, The Wrap reported.

But it wasn’t his athletic performance or his role as the proud pole-bearer in the opening ceremony that set tongues wagging, it was his athletic physique and boyish good looks.

Taufatofua has again caused a buzz, this time by patriotically taking his shirt off and braving the frigid temperatures at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

“I won't freeze,” he said, per ABC News. “I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing.”

While Taufatofua spoke lightheartedly about his appearance at the Olympics, many were unaware of the struggles he endured to get there.

Two years ago he revealed his plans to qualify as a cross-country skier for the Winter Olympics but by the time of his first race, the Tongan athlete had only logged about four weeks of training on snow, CNN reported.

While training, he would try to compensate for the lack of snow by strapping planks of wood to his feet and running on the beach.

“When you've got no snow, it's really hard to learn a snow sport, so we looked at all the different ways I could mimic being on snow without actually being on snow,” he said per CNN.

“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 added, per ABC.

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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.
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2018-02-09
Friday, 09 February 2018 01:02 PM
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