Tonga’s Shirtless Flag Bearer Rocks Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony, With 1 Difference
Is it even an Olympics ceremony now without Pita Taufatofua and his oiled-up torso?
07/23/2021 09:10 AM ET
Updated Jul 23, 2021
Tonga’s flag bearer Pita Taufatofua
cemented his status as a firm fan favorite at the Tokyo Olympics
opening ceremony on Friday when he once again walked into the stadium shirtless and covered in oil.
Taufatofua, who is competing in the Taekwondo event, did the same at the opening ceremonies for the Rio summer games
in 2016 and the winter games
in Pyeongchang, South Korea, two years later, where he competed in the cross-country skiing.
This time around, though, there was one difference.
Taufatofua wore a mask, as did all athletes involved in the ceremony:
Flag bearers Malia Paseka and Pita Taufatofua of Team Tonga lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Hannah McKay - Pool via Getty Images)
Taufatofua explained the outfit and oil after Rio 2016, saying they were in honor of his Oceanian culture
Twitter users were delighted by his re-appearance on the world stage:
YES Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua and his oiled-up chest are back
“Let’s just take a minute” -Savannah #OpeningCeremony
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