Pita Taufatofua was back at the Olympics on Friday holding the Tongan flag and causing social media to swoon once again.
It’s the third time Taufatofua has carried the flag for Tonga. He initially caused a stir at the 2016 Rio Games and again appeared at the 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang.
On Friday, Taufatofua was shirtless, oiled up and leading the way for his country. He walked alongside Malia Paseka, who is competing on the female side of the taekwondo event.
Taufatofua qualified for the 2020 Games in Tokyo in taekwondo. He will be competing in the men’s +80-kilogram category in the event. His first competition is set for Monday against Vladislav Larin of the Russian Olympic Committee.
He burst onto the scene during the Rio Olympics in 2016 when he showed off his greased and ripped body in front of a packed house. It was the first time the Olympics were held in a South American country. He was eliminated after his first bout in the competition.
The bare chest returned during the Winter Olympics in 2018 as he took a shot at cross-country skinning. He was the only Tongan to appear at those Games and didn’t appear to be affected by the cold at the time. He finished 114th out of 119 competitors in the 15-kilometer freestyle race.
He initially tried to qualify for the 2020 Games in sprint canoeing but came up just short. He would later get back onto the Olympic team in taekwondo for the second time.