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Pita Taufatofua Trivia | 37 facts about the Tongan athlete

Pita Taufatofua Trivia | 37 facts about the Tongan athlete

Pita Taufatofua is a Tongan taekwondo practitioner and skier. He went viral through his appearance at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games 2020. Let’s find out some trivia and facts about the athlete. His full name is Pita Nikolas Taufatofua He was born on the 5th of November 1983 He is a Tongan taekwondo practitioner and skier He lives in Australia Taufatofua became widely known after footage of his appearance at the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics oiled and shirtless went viral He was flagbearer for Tonga in the 2016 Olympics, the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the 2020 Olympics Taufatofua was born in Australia on 5 November 1983 He was raised in Tonga He attended Tonga Side School and Tonga High School He graduated from Saint Peter’s Lutheran College in Brisbane in 2000 His father is Tongan and his mother is Australian of British descent He began taekwondo at age five His childhood included such traditional Tongan activities as Saturday farmwork harvesting cassava In the course of his career he has experienced, by one account, “six broken bones, three torn ligaments, three months in a wheelchair, a year and a half on crutches and hundreds of hours of physiotherapy” At the 2016 Oceania Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament in February in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, he won his semi-final 4-3 before winning in the final against the 15th ranked fighter in the world to qualify for the 2016 Olympics He had previously tried to qualify for the Olympics on two occasions He was the first athlete from Tonga to compete in the Olympics in taekwondo He was Tonga’s flagbearer for the opening ceremony Taufatofua appeared as Tonga’s flag bearer in the Parade of Nations during the Olympics opening ceremony, which was held on 5 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil During the parade, he wore nothing but a taʻovala This is a Tongan mat which is wrapped around the waist His face and torso appearing noticeably shiny Initially, many assumed that he was sweating profusely But it became apparent that he had applied copious amounts of oil to his torso Taufatofua’s shirtless, oiled-up appearance garnered him fame on social media as footage of his appearance went viral During the taekwondo tournament, Taufatofua was eliminated in his first bout by the Iranian Sajjad Mardani once the score escalated to 16-1 Taufatofua made an appearance at the closing ceremony of the games Showing up after a musical number in the same costume he wore during the Parade of Nations Taufatofua led his nation in the 2020 Opening Ceremonies, again shirtless and oiled However, this time he had a co-flagbearer, Malia Paseka, who also is competing in taekwondo Taufatofua grew up with his parents and six siblings They grew up in a one-bedroom house in Tonga, which the family lost in a tropical storm As an adult he splits his time between his home nation and Brisbane, Australia Taufatofua is a UNICEF ambassador and spends time working with homelessness charities, including at Sandgate House training homeless children to develop independent living skills He also works to raise awareness of global warming, which threatens his island nation of Tonga He has an engineering degree and as of 2016 is working on his master’s degree He has also worked as a model beginning at age eighteen

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