The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the first Games held in South Korea in 30 years, officially opened on Friday with fireworks, song and symbolism featured amid celebrations of light, peace, and harmony.
Tonga's bare-chested flag-bearer for their one-man Winter Olympics team was given a warm reception by the crowd in sub-zero temperatures at the Opening Ceremony on Friday. "Financially, I'm in the worst position ever, but I'm the happiest ever".
Pita Taufatofua is going to keep making dreams come true, shirtless whenever possible.
"This was the last day of qualification for me, this is the end of the qualification period".
A self-proclaimed beach bum, Taufatofua became an instant online hit in Rio, racking up 45 million mentions on Twitter and later leading to appearances on global talk shows and other lucrative opportunities.
The 34-year-old, who now resides in Brisbane, was quizzed about his opening ceremony outfit earlier in the week.
Traveling with Chilean cross-country skier Yonathan Fernandez and Mexican endurance specialist German Madrazo, a giant snow storm meant Taufatofua's route to the race near Ísafjörður was blocked by avalanches.
When Pita learned that he had qualified for the 2018 WinterOlympics he shared his excitement during a Facebook live interview from the Arctic.
"I won't freeze", Taufatofua said ahead of the ceremony. One of the more remembered moments was the selfie that South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-ju took with North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jon. "I am from Tonga". The Rio 2016 Summer Games were no exception. I want a new challenge.