The Tongan flag bearer caught everyone's attention at the Olympics opening ceremony

Let the (shirtless) games begin!

tongan flag bearer at tokyo olympics opening ceremony
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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. 

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!

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.

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!

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 Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.