Tonga knows how to make an entrance.
Tongan flagbearer Pita Taufatofua upstaged everyone when he arrived for the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremony wearing nothing more than some oil and a traditional outfit from his nation.
Despite below freezing temperatures in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held, Taufatofua, who made the 2018 Games as a cross-country skier, entered the massive open-air stadium sans shirt with flag in hand. His entrance brought cheers from the crowd and online.
“Hello, Tonga…for a Winter Olympics, it sure is heating up,” one fan of Taufatofua said on Twitter.
“Changed my mind, I’m supporting Tonga,” one person commented after seeing Tonga’s entrance.
CHANGED MY MIND IM SUPPORTING TONGA— Harry Smith ?? (@velocityvenom) February 9, 2018
“Bermuda: Its not that cold. We can wear shorts. Tonga guy: Hold my beer,” another person joked, referencing the athletes from Bermuda who strutted in the freezing Parade of Nations in shorts.
Bermuda: Its not that cold. We can wear shorts.February 9, 2018
“Even athletes are wearing heavy jackets, the Tonga flagbearer still oiled up and shirtless... Props to him,” one person commented.
Even athletes are wearing heavy jackets, the Tonga flagbearer still oiled up and shirtless... Props to him #OpeningCeremony— Catherine Nguyen (@cmdnguyen) February 9, 2018
“Tonga, immune to the cold,” teased another Twitter user.
This isn’t the first time that Taufatofua has wowed the crowd with his entrance. All eyes were on the 34-year-old Polynesian athlete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Entertainment Weekly reports. Taufatofua, who competed in taekwondo, caught the world’s attention when he entered the stadium oiled up, rocking a shell necklace, and wearing a traditional outfit.
While Taufatofua definitely had thousands of eyes on him, he wasn’t the only one getting attention. A small child outside of the stadium riled up a few laughs online when he attempted to taste-test an NBC camera line on-air.