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The Dancing Weightlifter From The Olympics Wants You To Know About His Sinking Home

It's his way of bringing attention to the dangers facing Kiribati.

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The athlete's signature dance moves first made an appearance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Staff / Reuters

Katoatau began dancing in celebration at the most recent Commonwealth Games, a competition held every four years between members of the Commonwealth of Nations and their territories. Since then, it's become something of a trademark.


Most of the island stands a meager two meters above sea level.

David Gray / Reuters

Current estimates say that the capital of Tarawa will be 80% submerged by 2050 due to rising sea levels brought on by global warming.

The rising ocean levels has contaminated the drinking water and fields with salt water.

David Gray / Reuters

The federal budget has money set aside to combat the threat of climate change, but there isn't enough for public services such as education, sanitation, and medical treatment.


With this wish in mind, Katoatau lifts his barbells and dances away with a smile.

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

He may not have taken home the gold at the Rio Olympics, but he's already looking forward to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.