Pita Taufatofua of Tonga, who was making his third Olympic appearance on Friday morning, arrived at the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo in grand fashion.
At both the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Taufatofua drew attention when he carried the Tonga flag without a shirt.
On Friday, Taufatofua took the flag for the third time, and he carried it with pride and dignity just like he had the previous two times.
There’s more to Taufatofua than just her stunning appearance at Tokyo’s opening ceremony.
At the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, he will represent Tonga in taekwondo, hoping to win the country’s second Olympic medal ever.
After failing to medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Taufatofua was quickly knocked out of the cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Taufatofua will be Focusing on Relief Efforts for Tonga
Instead, his attention will be directed toward the recovery efforts in Tonga, where humanitarian supplies (including COVID-19).
It has started to arrive and communications are slowly being repaired after last month’s devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami.
According to NPR, NASA experts have calculated that the explosion was more than 500 times as strong as the nuclear bomb that was unleashed on Hiroshima, Japan at the end of World War II.
It triggered an oil spill off the coast of Peru, was felt all the way in Antarctica, and sent tsunami waves crashing into the West Coast of the United States.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 was also set off by the volcanic eruption, and this earthquake severed the sole undersea fiber-optic cable linking the archipelago to the rest of the world.
Olympic Viewers Hoping to Catch a Familiar Glimpse of Pita Taufatofua
For anyone hoping to witness Pita Taufatofua, the Tongan athlete who has competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
They will be disappointed to learn that he will not be present for the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday.
Taufatofua, a former taekwondo and cross-country skiing competitor, has decided to devote his time and energy.
In order to assisting the people of Tonga as they rebuild from the devastation caused by the January tsunami.
The 38-year-old athlete posted on Instagram this week that he would not be participating in the Winter Olympics, which begin this coming Friday.
At the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Taufatofua initially gained widespread attention while carrying the Tonga flag.
Three Olympic cycles later, the taekwondo and cross-country skiing competitor has established herself as a fan favourite.