The opening ceremony of Rio 2016 Olympics was a memorable evening of lights, glitter and gleam! But it was Tonga’s oil-greased flag bearer who made the Parade of Nations the most memorable one. Dressed in a ta’ovala (Tongan mat) wrapped around his waist, bare-chested with copious amounts of oil on his torso, Tonga’s flag bearer was greeted with loud roars of applaud as he walked into the arena.
Soon after Pita Nikolas Taufatofua made an appearance, he quickly became a social media sensation. Reports suggest that the handsome flag bearer has qualified for the Olympics through the Oceania taekwondo qualification tournament in April. The 32-year old won gold competing in the 80+ kg competition at the Oceania Olympic Tournament.
Helping homeless children – as well as being a part-time model, Taufatofua is the first Tongan to represent his country for Taekwondo in the Olympics. While Taufatofua is Australian-born, he chose to represent Tonga because of his father’s heritage. Shot to fame at Rio’s opening ceremony; Taufatofua also has a degree in engineering and is currently completing his Masters.
The Brisbane-based Taekwondo fighter also works part time as a model. With a body and soul as impressive as his, we bet he has many a hearts drooling over him yet!