The shirtless Tongan didn’t finish dead last in his Olympic cross-country skiing race… but he was darn close.
Pita Taufatofua — who set the internet ablaze as the bare-chested and greased up flag bearer for Tongo in the Parade of Nations during the 2016 summer Olympics opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro – made his winter Olympics debut in February in the cross-country skiing 15k race. Of the 119 competitors, Taufatofua was the 114th to cross the finish line, and he is more than OK with that.
“Couldn’t be happier! Got my best time, finished the race and didn’t ski into a tree!” he said on Instagram. How’s that for a “glass is half full” perspective of going for Olympic gold?
Couldn’t be happier! Got my best time, finished the race and didn’t ski into a tree! But more importantly I got to share the experience with all our friends from the other exotic countries who never gave up! Soo much respect to them, the medalists and all athletes from around the world who represented their countries with pride!
During the 2016 summer Olympics, Taufatofua competed on his country’s taekwondo team. Although he’s now a cross-country skier and that glossy chest is neither fashionable nor recommended on the slopes, he is still wearing those same sandals.
And, by the way, maybe the reason for his not-so great finish – he not only has never trained for cross-country skiing, he has never even seen snow until recently.