The one and only cross-country skier from Tonga at the Olympics

The one and only cross-country skier from Tonga at the Olympics

You might not remember him by his name, Pita Taufatofua, but probably you do remember the flag-bearer from Tonga at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Pita changed sports in order to make it to the Winter Olympics as the only cross-country skier from Tonga. 

During the Rio Olympics, his sport was taekwondo.  But then he decided to make a shift to cross-country skiing in order to make it to Pyeongchang. It took him 12 months to train and get in shape for these games. 

 Most impressive of it all is that he was a finalist for the Winter Olympics as the only competitor from Tonga. It takes years of practice and sacrifices to make it to the pinnacle of Olympic competition, but it took Taufatofua merely one year to get there, which makes his story all more unique. 

This transition would not have been possible if it were not for Paul Bragiel. Bragiel is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. He tried to compete as cross-country skier for Sochi in 2014 but came short. 

One year later, he was invited by Leafa Mataele Wawryk, the secretary general of the Tongan Winter Olympics team, to help them grow the team, and he agreed. Then he was invited to the coronation of Tongo's king, and to the Tongo's Olympic committee, which is where he met Pita. 

"This motherf----r picked up a brand new sport in 12 months!" said Paul Bragiel, who joined the Sunday festivities. "And it wasn't like he was an endurance runner like a marathoner — he was doing taekwondo!"

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first sports transition in Olympic history.  Taufatofua lost 20 pounds to make this transition.  Qualifying for the Olympics was already a feat, but being in the top three is simply historical. 

 

Top / Latest News

Curling opens competition at Winter Olympics

Curling opens competition at Winter Olympics

The first competitions in the 2018 Winter Olympics have got underway with mixed doubles curling making its debut. The so-called "family feud" was the main event. In the end the Amercan brother-sister team of Matt and Becca Hamilton beat the Russian married couple Anastasia…

Michael Phelps: “most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time.”

Michael Phelps: “most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time.”

Rio 2016 has been the ideal platform for Michael Phelps to increase his greatness. And he is just getting started. He already earned gold in Men´s 4x200m freestyle relay plus another in the 200-m butterfly. He is now the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time. In fact he is the most…

Rio’s Athlete’s Village Unveiled

Rio’s Athlete’s Village Unveiled

The local organisers of the forthcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics recently made a revelation as to where the 11,000 athletes and around 6,000 coaches and team members will reside during the course of the Rio Olympics, which will be held on August 5 to 21, 2016. The local organizers, led by Mario…

Latest By Reviews

International Debuting Superstars in MLS' 2015-16 Season

International Debuting Superstars in MLS' 2015-16 Season

After Beckham's successful foray in Major League Soccer, an increasing number of international superstars are looking to make their marks here, too. While most are veterans looking to extend their careers while cushioned by the substantial financial incentives, there's also speculation over…

ARE YOU A SPORT LOVER? THIS ARTICLE IS FOR YOU THEN

ARE YOU A SPORT LOVER? THIS ARTICLE IS FOR YOU THEN

Sports are physical work which helps our body to build confidence, sportsmanship, good physic and very nice psychology. Some people play sports as a passion and some play as profession. There are many types of sports around the world. Archery, cricket, badminton, golf, hockey, ice hockey, judo,…

Why Sports Should Be a Part of Our Lives?

Why Sports Should Be a Part of Our Lives?

Isn't it true that, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull Boy”? Well, the studies and researches also say so about the lifestyle of children. But what about the grown-ups and the working and urban people? Sports should be a necessary part of every individual’s life. In fact,…

How to Master the Left Back Position

How to Master the Left Back Position

The left back's is one of the more grueling roles in a college football team, covering key aspects of both attack and defense. Keeping these simple tips in mind would help you revel in the role and be a real asset to the team. Don't neglect your mark Left backs tend to drift away from the…

How to be a Better Infielder

How to be a Better Infielder

If you're one of the infielders in your college baseball team, you're most certainly one of the more crucial cogs in the defensive play of your team. Improving your fitness and gameplay would go a long way toward shutting out opposition and bringing confidence to your pitchers. Here are a…

Understanding Ice Hockey

Understanding Ice Hockey

It is always a fun, if a sport is played for recreation with the true spirit of sportsmanship. These days, snow sports are increasingly in demand. One of the games that is liked mostly is Ice hockey, which is played on the snow. In order to release the stress from mind, people try to spend more time…

New Random Posts

Top / Latest Videos