Winter Olympics: Shirtless Tongan flagbearer Pita Taufatofua grabs attention again

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The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the first Games held in South Korea in 30 years, officially opened on Friday with fireworks, song and symbolism featured amid celebrations of light, peace, and harmony.

Taufatofua braved the 32˚F cold at Friday's Opening Ceremonies in Pyeongchang and again appeared bare-chested, wearing only a traditional Tongan mat.

The 34-year-old competed in Rio in taekwondo, but after failing to win a match, he opted to switch sports and try his luck in cross-country skiing.

As Tonga's lone athlete, he was the country's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony.

"After Rio I chose to find the hardest sport possible, because I needed a new challenge, and the hardest sport possible was cross country skiing", Taufatofua told the Olympic Channel in Jan, after qualifying. "I trained mainly on roller skis. Financially I'm in the worst position ever but I'm the happiest ever", he told the Olympic Channel.

Taufatofua is literally the only competitor from his country at this year's Winter Olympics.

Highlights from the Winter Olympics 2018 opening ceremony   
                             
                    
        Open galler
Highlights from the Winter Olympics 2018 opening ceremony Open galler

"This year [we've had] so many challenges - we sacrificed everything to be here". Again, he carried the Tongan flag in the opening ceremony.

The Oceania gold medallist in taekwondo made global headlines in 2016 with a shirtless entrance as the country's flagbearer at the Rio Olympics.

Taufatofua, who is scheduled to compete in the 15km cross-country skiing freestyle race February 16, has detailed some of his recent training sessions on Instagram.

"We had a goal to finish within 12 minutes ... and I did it in six", he recalls.

Earlier this week, he warned his adoring-but-then-definitely-disappointed fans that this would be the case in an interview with New Zealand's Stuff: "I want to still be alive for my race".

Denied US flag with coin toss, Davis snubs opening ceremony
Voting for Hamlin and speedskater Shani Davis was tied for the honor, which led to the victor being chosen by a coin toss. A 4-4 deadlock in the voting led to a coin flip , which resulted in Hamlin winning the right to be flag-bearer.

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