Shirtless Tongan’s goal: Don’t hit tree, finish and inspire

Tongan cross-nation skier Pita Taufatofua joked that he has two speedy objectives when he competes in his first Winter Olympic occasion on Friday — do not hit a tree and end earlier than they flip off the lights.

The medal podium is way from the thoughts of the “shirtless” Tongan, who certified for the cross-nation occasion regardless of having taken up the game lower than a yr in the past and having spent lower than 12 weeks of his life on snow.

The 34-yr-previous Taufatofua stated his actual lengthy-time period aim is to encourage others from the South Pacific to provide the Olympics a shot. He is doing a very good job as far as one in every of a only a few athletes to compete within the Summer time and Winter Video games.

“I will not medal on Friday, however in 4 years somebody from Tonga may, in eight years somebody from the Pacific may,” Taufatofua stated. “These youngsters who’re watching now, they will have entry to one thing they by no means knew existed earlier than.”

You’ve got in all probability heard about — or no less than seen — Taufatofua by now.

He turned a TV and web hit in 2016 when he walked shirtless into the opening ceremonies on the Summer time Olympics in Rio de Janeiro carrying the Tongan flag, his naked chest oiled up displaying off his muscular physique.


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