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Olympics Fans Can't Stop Talking About The Return Of Tonga's Shirtless Flag Bearer

Pita Taufatofua at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games with Al Roker

After a year-long delay, the Summer Olympics Games finally kicked off in Tokyo this past Friday. The opening ceremony was, of course, quite different this year to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the event still included a number of elements viewers have become accustomed to. And apparently, one of these is Pita Taufatofua, the fan-favorite flag bearer for Tonga. The viral sensation was in top form, baby oil and all, and Olympics viewers can’t seem to stop talking about him.

This marks Pita Taufatofua’s third time serving as a flag bearer for Tonga. The 37-year-old is a dual athlete, as he competes in taekwondo during the Summer Olympics and cross-country skiing in the Winter Olympics. However, based on these recent tweets, it would seem that viewers prefer the latter, as it allows Taufatofua to show off his physique. Paris Barclay, a TV writer, director and producer, couldn’t help but take notice of the athlete and shared several shots of him on Twitter:

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Both the Summer and Winter Olympics have featured a number of notable moments over the years and, in the minds of some viewers, Pita Taufatofua’s entrances seem to stand among the best of them. And users had no problem admitting that they were only watching the opening ceremony to catch a glimpse of his oily body:

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Body oil can definitely do wonders for a person, as clearly evidenced by Pita Taufatofua. However, there are also some interesting (and honestly funny) side effects that come with using so much of it. As a matter of fact, one social media user just happened to point out a small detail about Taufatofua as he made his way out:

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The oil seems a bit hazardous but, thankfully, no one seems to have slipped while following in Pita Taufatofua’s footsteps. But honestly, I don’t think anyone would quite mind getting close to the athlete, even with so much oil on his body. Another viewer happened to spot him during the telecast, and they may or may not be joking about plans to potentially meet up with him:

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While Pita Taufatofua has competed in multiple Olympic games, he’s yet to bring in one of those coveted medals. Still, the man, who also holds an engineering degree, seems more than proud to be representing his country once again. Not only that, but he’s also ensuring that plenty of people (whether they’re from his country or not) are giving paying attention to Tonga:

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There’s a lot of pride that comes with representing your country on such a large stage, so you can’t help but be happy for Pita Taufatofua as he continues to do so. Based on these tweets, I don’t think anyone is ever going to forget Taufatofua’s contributions to Olympic history. And given his widespread popularity, perhaps sports networks will find a way to keep him around even after he’s called it a career?

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.