PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Pita Taufatofua, the taekwondo athlete from Tonga who achieved Olympic immortality as his country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Games by slathering his sculpted upper body with oil and not covering it with a shirt, delivered an encore performance at the opening ceremony of the Winter Games in South Korea on Friday, elevating himself beyond Olympic immortality and into the realm of unbridled internet glory because it was very cold in Pyeongchang and he apparently defied all odds to compete in cross-country skiing at the Olympics, since he is from a country where cross-country skiing has to be extremely difficult.
Taufatofua competed in the 15-kilometer cross country race on Friday; he placed 114th out of 119 entrants.
“The 15 kilometer never worked so well for me,” he confessed. “I’m always gassed out by about the second kilometer.”
As for his future plans he said: “Three Olympics, three different sports, let’s see if it can be done, huh?”