Who better to help close out the 2018 Winter Olympics than everyone’s favorite hunky Tongan?
Pita Taufatofua was back —and shirtless — at Sunday’s closing ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea, and posed for photos alongside fellow Olympians including Lindsey Vonn.
During a series of speeches from Olympic officials, several well-known athletes, including Vonn, 33, and Taufatofua, 34, posed for a group photo with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
As the smiling athletes made heart gestures with their hands, Taufatofua (in all his oiled-up glory) dropped to one knee and stretched out his arms. The display marks the Polynesian athlete’s fourth consecutive Olympic ceremony — he has been shirtless and shiny for them all.
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On Sunday, he wore a traditional outfit from his nation, just as he did for the opening ceremony more than two weeks earlier, and for the opening of the 2016 Summer Games, as he proudly hoisted his nation’s flag.
“It still feels quite strange actually being here, because it took me 20 years to get to Rio, and just one year to get here,” Taufatofua has said of his Winter Olympics debut. “It’s just an honour. I mean, how many countries in the Pacific get to go to a Winter Games?”
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Despite a lackluster performance at his first Winter Games, Taufatofua has proved to be a fan-favorite, prompting praise from Twitter users simply happy to see the athlete in his now-signature ensemble.
He finished in a distant 114th place in the 15km cross-country skiing event, but was praised for his positive attitude after the loss.
“People from the Pacific, these kids who are watching now, they’ll have access to something that they never knew existed before,” he said in a press conference, according to the Huffington Post. “And to me, that’s why I’m here.”
As for Vonn, the famed ski racer won a bronze medal in the downhill alpine event, and has been outspoken about how much her appearance at the Olympics has meant to her.
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