Oily Rio Olympic Flag-Bearer Pita Taufatofua Qualifies for Pyeongchang Winter Olympics


By now, we’ve all seen Pita Taufatofua, the beautiful hunk of man who became a viral internet sensation after his oily, bare-chested flag-waving strut during the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Pita recently shared a video on his Facebook, chronicling his success at qualifying for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing. Qualifying for the Olympics is impressive enough; it’s even more so when you consider the fact that snow isn’t exactly a regular occurrence in Tonga!

He spoke with the Olympic Channel about the challenges that he’s faced in his quest to qualify, including the financial sacrifices that he’s had to make and the completely new situation in which he found himself, having to learn an entirely new sport in weather conditions to which he isn’t accustomed.

It’s a great Cinderella story, and Pita will no doubt find himself a huge fan base wanting to root for the underdog. Beyond that, it’s a marvelous reminder of what someone can achieve if they’ve got the desire, drive and dedication to achieve it.

Here’s hoping that we will see that level of dedication every time we see Pita at the Winter Olympics, especially considering that we won’t be seeing him oiled-up and shirtless there.


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