There was a familiar sight during the Opening Ceremony for Tokyo 2020 as Pita Taufatofua – the ‘Topless Tongan’ – made his third appearance as flag bearer at the Olympics.
Taufatofua rose to prominence at Rio 2016 when he oiled up for the Opening Ceremony, and though he was eliminated in the first round of the taekwondo his cameo went viral.
He then went topless again at the 2018 Winter Olympics, remarkably representing Tonga once more – this time in the cross-country skiing.
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Taufatofua, a Unicef ambassador, became only Tonga’s second Winter Olympian, and he went on to finish 114th out of 119 skiers.

Left to right: Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020

Image credit: Getty Images

At Tokyo 2020 he shared flag-bearer duties with Malia Paseka, a fellow taekwondo athlete, during the Opening Ceremony.
True to form, Taufatofua applied the oil to his torso once more, and again wore a traditional taʻovala - a mat wrapped around the waist.
Taufatofua will appear in the men’s +80kg category once more, but had also looked to compete in the canoe sprint in Japan.
He was unable to qualify, however, and will instead focus his efforts on taekwondo after completing the flag-bearer hat-trick.
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