That Super Hot Tongan Flag Bearer Wants To Compete In The Winter Olympics

    Read oil about it.

    Remember this guy?

    Harry How / Getty Images

    That's Pita Taufatofua, better known as the extremely hot, oiled up Tongan flag bearer from the Rio Olympics.

    Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images

    Taufatofua has been busy since the Olympics, touring the world, appearing on Today, and generally just being extremely hot online.

    But now that the dust from Rio has settled, Taufatofua has set his eyes on a new goal: Cross-country skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

    The former taekwondo athlete is swapping sand for snow with the goal of competing in South Korea in 2018 to become Tonga's first ever male cross-country skier.

    Tonga is made up of more than 170 islands in the tropical South Pacific, where temperatures rarely dip below 17 degrees celsius (63F), and snow never, ever falls. Taufatofua acknowledges this presents a bit of a challenge if he's to qualify for the Olympics.

    "Up until two years ago I hadn't seen snow," he told BuzzFeed News. "I've had skis on for five minutes in my life to shoot my announcement footage. My life was about sand and coconut trees. I love snow but have a lot to learn to completely be comfortable in it."

    Taufatofua said he's taking up skiing to push his personal boundaries and to inspire others to do the same.

    "Cross-country skiing is a sport that I highly respect and fear at the same time," he said. "It is completely out of my comfort zone, and as such I feel that's where I need to be for my own mental and physical development.

    "Pushing myself in a new and exciting way. I want to show people through my own endeavours and challenges that they too can step out of their comfort zone and do things that test the limits of their potential, without fear of failure or criticism."

    Taufatofua says he loved Cool Runnings, the story of the Jamaican national bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics, but is mainly inspired by his parents and past work with homeless youth.

    "They taught me the true power of the human spirit," he said. "The power to endure despite insurmountable odds."

    Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Rob Stott at

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