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Winter Olympics 2018: Pita Taufatofua is back, oiled and carrying the Tongan flag

Pita Taufatofua, the oiled-up Tongan athlete who became a Rio Summer Olympics sensation with fans, is back in an Olympics opening ceremony.

Taufatofua, Tonga’s only Winter Olympics athlete, carried the country’s flag, bare-chested, wearing his country’s traditional mat called a ta’ovala.

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While it was similar to the costume worn in the Summer Olympics in 2016, the difference in Friday’s ceremony was the conditions. Taufatofua carried the flag shirtless, in flip-flops, in about 25 degree weather. That’s before the wind chill.

In Rio’s Summer Games, Taufatofua competed in tae kwon do, but lost in his first match. In the Pyeongchang Olympics, he’s a cross-country skier.

While the temperature was below freezing, Taufatofua did receive a warm welcome, especially on social media where comments went something like this:

 

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Pita Taufatofua of Tonga and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Pool - Frank Fife/Getty Images) (Pool/Getty Images)

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