Let's admire the Tongan flag bearer at the Olympics Opening Ceremony, shall we? Despite 206 countries and over 11,000 athletes competing for the top spot, it seems everyone is in favor of the shirtless, oily hunk earning the gold medal for stealing hearts—and the internet wholeheartedly agrees.
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Tonga's Pita Taufatofu, who represents the country for both tae kwon do and skiing, has done the flag bearing honors at previous Olympics and earned viral attention for his
pecs, err, efforts.
He turned heads at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 winter games in Pyeongchang, so fans were quite pleased to see his return. What they weren't expecting? Some welcome, ab-filled competition!
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Rio Rii, the rower and flag-bearer from Vanuatu, joined the oily ranks with a shirtless promenade throughout a near-empty stadium. But global onlookers were pleased to see the newbie on their screens, even if that meant getting up at an ungodly hour to view the occasion.
Pita Taufatofua has some competition for hottest flag bearer. Meet Rio Rii from neighboring Vanuatu! https://t.co/AVqijpQwcI pic.twitter.com/LMhP5lQIAKJuly 23, 2021
The internet reacts to the Tongan flag bearer
For a moment, it appears as though fans were not terribly concerned about sports at all. Heck, even the Olympics' social media accounts had something to say about the fellas!
*Tonga goes viral at #Olympics*Vanuatu: "hold my flag..." pic.twitter.com/wctfqd7WkZJuly 23, 2021
Tonga man has some competition#Vanuatu https://t.co/wjHX59pvAk pic.twitter.com/P97vfgSlxJJuly 23, 2021
I'm no longer on Denmark's team in the Olympics, I'm on Tonga's flag bearer's team. pic.twitter.com/eG56Uu3COSJuly 23, 2021
Pita, we see you and we raise you 🕶️#VAN | #OpeningCeremony https://t.co/KVmx3DrLg9 pic.twitter.com/fkK0ssxOslJuly 23, 2021
Game on, indeed! This collective celebration was certainly a hit.
How to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony
Were you unable to get up in time to watch the fellas live? No sweat! (See what we did there?) We'll tell you how to tune in for the Opening Ceremony so you can watch Pita Taufatofu and Rio Rii compete for viewers' attention. Oh, and other cool things happen during the event, too. Did you know that Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron? (Yes, we also forgot about the ceremony's other notable moments.)
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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