Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

Pita Taufatofua

Qualification points earned in roller-ski races can be applied for cross-country skiing and Taufatofua almost qualified on that basis alone.

He qualified on Saturday (January 21) for the Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang, which runs from February 9-25. "This was the last day of the qualification process".

Pita Taufatofua, who represented Tonga in taekwondo at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has switched sports to compete in South Korea next month.

The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games. But after crashing out in the first round, the athlete announced he was on the lookout for a new challenge.

The fighter chose to make the switch to cross-country skiing following his disappointing first-round exit in Brazil. But reaching his goal was far from easy.

Pita Taufatofua of Tonga walks along the sand with his country's flag
Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

"And I thought there is one race left and it's at the end of the world".

Taufatofua drove more than two hours through a blizzard in the Arctic Circle to get to the final race attempt in Isafjordur in Iceland having earlier missed a flight in Istanbul in an attempt to qualify via an event in Croatia. We're in Iceland, and I thought, 'I have to give it all.

"We sacrificed everything to be here", Taufatofua told the Olympic Channel.

"I've probably had maybe 10 weeks all up on snow because there is no snow where I'm from in Tonga so we had to use roller skis and they are the worst things ever made", he said.

Flu season in full swing
Health officials in Orange County say they're seeing a very high number of flu screenings this year compared to last season. Northern District Administrator of Public Health, Judy Smith said 2018 has been a rare year for the number of flu cases.

NFL Fans Shocked At Mel Kiper's Number 1 Pick In Mock Draft
We hammered that case home before last year's draft , and he validated every word of it in his rookie season. As for Guice, Kiper said he "could have put Guice in the first round" but "I didn't find a team for him".

This restaurant will serve Indian food to PM Modi in Switzerland
And if you think we are doing so much hard work around the world to isolate one nation, then that is wrong". They will sit together and find a solution to their problems.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

USA Prioritizes External Threats over Terrorism
According to the ministry, the document includes a lot of provisions showing that the Cold War mentality has not gone away. China's U.S. embassy meanwhile criticised the strategy , saying Beijing sought "global partnership, not global dominance".

North, South Korea Solidify Plans to March Together at Olympics
International Olympic Committee members from South Korea, Ryu Seung-min and Chang Ung from North Korea are also at the meeting. The united women's hockey team will be the first time the two Koreas will have joined together in Olympic events.

How a Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Travel Plans
However, a program at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track flu outbreaks was temporarily halted. While those affected by DACA and CHIP are the most visible victims of a potential government shutdown , they are not alone.

Trump's Insults Will Nudge African Nations Closer To China
However, the results of Donald Trump's recent medical check-up has sparked an online conspiracy theory - the girther movement. Trump was said to have uttered "shithole" during last Thursday's conversation in the Oval Office, a version backed up by Sen.

Democrats might try to extend shutdown: Mulvaney
Mulvaney said some Democrats want to rain on Trump's parade when he delivers the speech to a joint-session of Congress on January 30.

Notre Dame vs Clemson basketball
The last time an ACC opponent scored 37 points or fewer was in Notre Dame's 74-36 win over Clemson on January 24, 2015. Avoiding a letdown was imperative to head coach Muffet McGraw . "We won because we have All-Americans and they don't".

Manchester City breezes past Newcastle in English Premier League
Sergio Aguero has played down his hat-trick exploits in Manchester City's 3-1 win over Newcastle United , insisting that the three points are what matters.

From Rome: Chelsea have reached €50m agreement, agents are now closing deals
An agent of a Serie A star has responded to reports linking his client with a move to Premier League champions Chelsea in January. In fact it's the opposite, and I say to the fans that our objective is always the same: to improve the squad.

Private investigators say Barry and Honey Sherman were murdered
Those investigators found signs that their wrists were bound together at one time, a source familiar with the probe told CBC . Toronto police initially ruled the Shermans' deaths as "suspicious" and have not publicly released any updates on the case.

Australian Open: Angelique Kerber thrashes Maria Sharapova
By the time it reached 11-11, Davis began to look distressed, not least after failing to convert three match-points at 0-40. Hsieh's unorthodox style of play is something to look out for when she takes on Poland's Radwanska in the third round.

Freezing Rain Warning in Effect Monday
Environment Canada has issued freezing rain warnings for a wide swath of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Significant freezing rain is expected with several millimeters of accumulation.

Social Engineering to the People: Facebook Asks Users to Rank Media Credibility
This is being done to cut down the volume of fake news reports being circulated online, particularly on the social media. The new scoring system is only rolling out in the U.S.to start, but the company plans to eventually expand it globally.

Knicks' Enes Kanter trolled LeBron James after Thunder crushed Cavs
After watching his side crumble in the second half, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue made his expectations known. As bad as the first quarter was for the Cavs, the rest of the game was not much better.

Eden Hazard stars as Chelsea cruise past Brighton
After the break, Chelsea remained a threat on the counter but it was Brighton creating the clearer cut chances. Nigeria's global , Victor Moses scored on Saturday in Chelsea's 4-0 drubbing of Brighton away from home.

'Jumanji' Rolls For Third Box Office Victory
The domestic box-office is in-between franchises this week, giving several new releases a chance to strike at last week's winners. Gritty heist thriller Den of Thieves from STX Films was third on the list in its debut weekend, with US$15.3 million.

Other news