16 February 2018

In Olympic news today...

"The Tongan cross-country skier perhaps best known for walking out into the last two Olympic opening ceremonies without a shirt is set to take to the snow in the Pyeongchang Games...

Pita Taufatofua has joked that his two immediate goals are to not crash into a tree and to finish before race organizers turn the lights off.

Taufatofua says the 15-kilometer race is probably a bit of a stretch for him since all his qualifying races were 10 kilometers. He just started skiing this year and has not skied much on snow.

He says he has a “love-hate, hate-hate relationship” with the 15-kiometer race. The last time he raced in a 15-kilometer event he lost a ski and finished in 1 hour, 40 minutes."
Update: He exceeded his goals.
"After spending only 12 weeks on snow in his life, having seen snow for the first time two years ago, Taufatofua finished third last, nearly 23 minutes behind the gold medallist. Three other athletes did not finish the race."
Photo: Instagram


  1. During the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics I believe I heard a commentator (whom I won't name in case I misheard or am misremembering) say that participants from small island nations "have no chance of winning".
    I'd argue that, while their chances may be small, they still have a chance. And the great thing about Taufatofua is his willingness to just try.

    1. From my point of view, the great thing about him is that he appears to be a true amateur, in the historic tradition of the Olympics. He's not like the skiers whose training is sponsored by corporations that pay their way to tournaments all across Europe and for whom they model and advertise.


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