Tonga’s topless flag bearer sends Olympic fans wild after arriving covered in oil

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Pita Taufatofua  could be seen topless while waving his country’s flag (AFP via Getty Images)
Pita Taufatofua could be seen topless while waving his country’s flag (AFP via Getty Images)

Tonga’s flag bearer Pita Taufatofua turned heads at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday when he once again walked into the stadium shirtless and covered in oil.

Mr Taufatofua, who is competing in the Taekwondo event, could be seen topless while waving his country’s flag and led the team out into the Japan National Stadium.

The 37-year-old did the same at the opening ceremonies for the Rio summer games in 2016 and the 2018 winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he competed in cross-country skiing.

However, for the 2021 event, Mr Taufatofua wore a mask alongside all other athletes involved in the ceremony.

His appearance at the Games once again caused a stir on social media.

Among the sea of comments, one user wrote: “and just like that billions of women around the world took a big breath in and decided Tonga was their second team this Olympic Games”.

Another tweeted: “YES Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua and his oiled-up chest are back”.

“I like how everyone simps for Tongo flag bearer dude, lol #OpeningCeremony.”

In a 2016 interview, Mr Taufatofua explained the outfit and oil are representative of his Oceanian culture.

“When I was chosen as the flag bearer, I wanted to wear something very special to me,” Mr Taufatofua wrote on his Facebook page.

He added: “Coconut oil is an integral part of indigenous Oceanian body adornment.

“Typically performers apply copious amounts of coconut oils on their body as a celebration of symmetry of the human body as well as a mark of ancestral identity.”

Mr Taufatofua was born in Brisbane, Australia but was raised along with his six siblings in a one-bedroom house in Tonga.

He now splits his time between the Pacific island and Brisbane and works as a Unicef ambassador, raising awareness around the impact of global warming and helping homelessness charities.

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