Pita Taufatofua was back at the Olympics on Friday, holding the Tongan flag and fainting social media again.
It is the third time that Taufatofua has carried the flag for Tonga. It initially caused a stir at the 2016 Rio Games and then competed again at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
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On Friday, Taufatofua was shirtless, oiled and groundbreaking for his country. He went next to Malia Paseka, who competes on the female side of the Taekwondo event.
Taufatofua has qualified in Taekwondo for the 2020 Tokyo Games. He will compete in the men’s +80 kilogram category at the event. His first competition is on Monday against Vladislav Larin from the Russian Olympic Committee.
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He took to the stage during the 2016 Rio Olympics as he flaunted his greased and torn body in front of a crowded house. It was the first time that the Olympic Games were held in a South American country. He was eliminated after his first fight in the competition.
Malia Paseka and Pita Taufatofua from Tonga carry the flag of their country during the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium of the 2020 Summer Olympics on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Hannah McKay / Pool Photo via AP)
The bare chest returned during the 2018 Winter Olympics when he ventured into cross-country skinning. He was the only Tongan to perform at these games and did not seem to be affected by the cold at the time. He finished 114th out of 119 participants in the 15-kilometer freestyle race.
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He first tried to qualify for the 2020 Games in the sprint canoe, but only came up short. He later returned to the Olympic team for the second time in Taekwondo.
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