Tonga's oiled-up flag bearer will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Howard TerryFeb 10, 2018

Oh yes. It's freezing in the mountain town of Pyeongchang, but that still didn't stop Tonga's flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua from entering the stadium shirtless and utterly glistening. The closest I had come to succeeding was within 30 points.

He announced in December 2016 he was taking a break from taekwondo in an attempt to qualify for the Winter Games, despite having no prior ski-ing experience.

Taufatofua was later seen posing for photos in the stands with a warm jacket across his oiled shoulders.

"You know look at the conditions, it's like freezing, it's negative a million degrees, and then you've got to put your body through something really challenging."

But on Friday, Taufatofua marched shirtless and - yes - oiled up despite very chilly weather. He has since lost 15kg of fat and muscle, although he still weighs at least 20kg more than his competitors. According to NBC Sports, he made the cut during the final qualifying weekend last month in Iceland.

Taufatofua's cross-country skiing adventure may only be a brief interlude before he refocuses on taekwondo, a sport that has given him six broken bones, three torn ligaments and hundreds of hours of rehabilitation.

"This year [we've had] so many challenges - we sacrificed everything to be here".

It may not be possible to catch all the best moments in a single day of the Olympic Games, but we're going to try. "I am from Tonga".

"I've come in as the last seed so I think I'm the last ranked person there - so if I get a gold medal, I'll be happy; If I come last, I'll be happy". But it turns out baby oil freezes at a much colder temperature than water, acting as an undulant while keeping your skin unchapped. The athlete will compete as a cross-country skier in the games, and he perviously said: "I want to still be alive for my race".

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