Tongan Pita Taufatofua only trained for three months before competing in Olympics
Sometimes just showing up and competing is a victory in itself. That is certainly the case for Pita Taufatofua.
Taufatofua has become a famous Olympics figure and internet sensation. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, he served as Tonga’s flag bearer (going shirtless and oiled up) and competed in taekwondo. For the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, Taufatofua also went shirtless as his country’s flag bearer. Even more amazingly, he competed in the 15km cross-country skiing event.
According to CNN, Taufatofua rented skis to prepare and only trained for three months! He finished 114th out of 119.
PIta Taufatofua finishes 15km cross-country race 22 minutes, 57 seconds behind Swiss winner Dario Cologna. 114th place in a field of 119. pic.twitter.com/v6Uusej7yB
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 16, 2018
For a guy who just trained for three months before competing, finishing in 114th out of 119 really isn’t bad. He even said he would have been happy to come in last.
“I’ve come in as the last seed, so if I get a gold medal, I’ll be happy. If I come in last, I’ll be happy. I made it to the Olympics, and I got Tonga to the Olympics.”
Mexican skier German Madrazo did finish last. The two trained together along with a few others, which explains the big celebration Madrazo received upon crossing the finish line.