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Posted: January 21, 2018

Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games.

>> Read more trending news

Saying that “a miracle happened,” Pita Taufatofua qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics in cross-country skiing Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua had failed in two previous attempts to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but on Saturday, he met the standards in five races to qualify, ESPN reported.

“I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.”

Taufatofua qualified in taekwondo at the Rio de Janeiro Games, ESPN reported. He was eliminated in his first bout.


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