Tonga's Pita Taufatofua says pressure off for Winter Olympics debut

Despite the 32˚F cold at the Opening Ceremonies in Pyeongchang, Shirtless Flag-Bearer stayed meticulously on-brand last night, sporting an ensemble that could not have been comfortable - but was definitely crowd-pleasing.

Pita Taufatofua posted a photo of himself carrying his country's flag at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony to his Instagram account showing how proud he is of his country. We sailed across the Pacific. "This is nothing", he said to the Olympic news service. Pita, who saw snow for the first time this year, reportedly trained for the event on roller skis, crowdfunded his journey to the Games, and qualified on his seventh attempt, on the last day of Olympic trials in Iceland.

The 34-year-old flag-bearer's impeccably chiseled physique and well-oiled torso made its second appearance this year in Pyeongchang in 32-degree weather, according to CNN.

Due to its warm climate, there's not a lot of athletes performing Winter themed sports, so Taufatofua is the only athlete from Tonga participating in the Winter Olympics this year. So with that in mind, take a closer look at the both the amount of athletes Bermuda has and the formation they're in. He is also the first Olympic cross-country skier from the Polynesian archipelago.

Tonga began cleaning up Tuesday after a cyclone hit overnight while some people in the nearby Pacific nation of Fiji began preparing for the storm to hit them

"I'll never be 100 percent ready, I don't think anyone ever is", he said.

Tonga, a Polynesian kingdom of more than 170 islands, is better known for its rugby prowess.

Tonga's flagbearer for the Winter Olympics has turned his attention back home to his friends and families caught in the path of Cyclone Gita.

Vanessa Coleman

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