Sport The shirtless Tongan flag-bearer who became a sensation at the Rio Olympics nearly completed an incredible transition to cross-country skiing and the Winter Olympics

01:40  10 january  2018
01:40  10 january  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

Samsung designed a 2018 Winter Olympics edition Galaxy Note 8

  Samsung designed a 2018 Winter Olympics edition Galaxy Note 8 Samsung has unveiled a sweet-looking Galaxy Note 8 you might never get your hands on. Samsung will distribute 4,000 devices to competing athletes and staff members before the games begin in early February. All Paralympic Winter Games participants will also get cases that feature the Paralympic Games logo to go with their new phones.

Pita Taufatofua, the shirtless Tongan who 's become an internet sensation , is at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, this time as a cross - country skier. Taufatofua completed a remarkable transition from taekwondo to cross - country skiing , learning to snow ski in just three months.

Shirtless Tongan flag - bearer might not qualify for the Winter Olympics after all. The shirtless Tongan flag - bearer who became a sensation at the Rio Olympics nearly completed an incredible transition to cross - country skiing and the Winter Olympics .

Pita taufatofua 2© Provided by Business Insider Inc Pita taufatofua 2

One of the more memorable figures of the 2016 Rio Olympics resurfaced in time for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in an attempt to compete on the world's biggest stage again.

Pita Taufatofua became a sensation at the Rio Olympics when he showed up at the opening ceremonies shirtless and slathered in oil, carrying Tonga's flag.

Taufatofua competed in taekwondo unremarkably, losing his only match in six minutes. Nonetheless, his smile and appearance made him a fun staple of the games.

However, as documented by The Wall Street Journal's Ben Cohen and Joshua Robinson, Taufatofua was not long for taekwondo. Instead, he transitioned to cross-country skiing and tried to make the Pyeongchang Olympics in one of the most unlikely - and fairly successful - sports conversions in Olympic history.

'Global shift' as Olympics set up shop in Asia

  'Global shift' as Olympics set up shop in Asia When the cauldron ignites in Pyeongchang on February 9, it will open a sequence of three Olympic Games in Asia over the next four years -- highlighting the region's growing clout, and also the declining interest among Western powers in holding the multi-billion dollar events. After next month's Winter Games in South Korea, Tokyo will take centre stage in 2020 and Beijing will organise the 2022 Winter Olympics -- becoming the first city to hold both a Winter and Summer Games.

2018 Winter Olympics : Oiled-up Tongan flag - bearer is hoping to be . Sports: The shirtless Tongan flag - bearer who became a sensation at the Rio Olympics nearly completed an incredible transition to cross - country skiing and .670 x 330 px.

Shirtless Tongan flag - bearer Pita Taufatofua will be competing at the Winter Olympics .1200 x 630 px. Sports: The shirtless Tongan flag - bearer who became a sensation at the Rio Olympics nearly completed an incredible transition to cross - country skiing and .670 x 330 px.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Taufatofua's motivation for switching sports and games was simple - a new challenge. He told Robinson and Cohen that he often makes impulsive decisions.

At the time of the writing of the Wall Street Journal article, Taufatofua was one race away from qualifying for the Olympics. According to the Journal, in an effort to expand the field of the sport and allow more races from warm-weather countries, the International Ski Federation began accepting points accrued in roller-skiing events (like cross-country skiing but on wheels). Racers would have to have five finishes that satisfied a points system and Taufatofua had four such finishes on roller skis before moving to cross-country skiing.

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  NKorea to send 230 cheerleaders to Olympics The country is putting conflict aside and joining forces with South Korea for the event.North Korea will send around 230 people as a single cheering squad to the Winter Olympics in the South next month, South Korea's unification ministry says.

Fans of Pita Taufatofua, the oiled-up flag bearer who became a viral sensation during the Rio 2016 Summer Games, were not disappointed during the opening ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, when he marched once-again bare chested.

WATCH: The Oily Tongan takes on cross - country skiing (0:15). Pita Taufatofua, Tonga's shirtless Olympic flag bearer , braves the cold as he trains for cross - country skiing ahead of the 2018 Winter Games.

The only problem for Taufatofua was that he had never been on skis or been in the snow and he had little money. Instead of driving 30 hours to the nearest mountain range (Taufatofua lives in Australia), he trained on the beach on the roller skis, saying he wrecked his body trying to get a handle on it.

And For My Next Trick

As Trump Taunts Kim, North Korea Speaks With Seoul Over Hotline .
North Korea contacted authorities in Seoul over a hotline for the first time in about two years, paving the way for a thaw during the Winter Olympics despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s fresh taunts at Kim Jong Un. Officials from both countries spoke several times Wednesday to conduct technical checks before agreeing to stop for the day, according to Lee Yeon-du, an official with South Korea’s Unification Ministry. President Moon Jae-in has proposed holding talks Jan. 9 at the border village of Panmunjom, which would be the first formal gathering between the two sides since 2015.

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