The Shirtless Tongan Returns
Everyone’s favorite hero from the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Pita “The Shirtless Tongan” Taufatofua, made his triumphant return in PyeongChang. The first athlete from Tonga to compete in both the Summer and Winter Games, Taufatofua finished 114th out of 118 competitors in men’s 15km cross-country event despite learning to ski three months prior. While he was far from the podium in his competition, he won the Opening Ceremony. After his oiled and shirtless entrance in 2016, Taufatofua said he’d “be keeping nice and warm” in South Korea’s freezing temps. But the showman couldn’t resist, giving the people what they wanted with another iconic Opening Ceremony moment.
“HERE COMES DIGGINS!”
U.S. cross-country skier Jessie Diggins and NBC broadcaster Chad Salmela teamed up for what will be, for many, the lasting memory of the 2018 Games. As Diggins dug deep down the stretch for one last cache of energy stored beneath her patriotic duds, Salmela made it crystal clear just how big the moment was. Kikkan Randall and Diggins earned the first ever cross-county gold medal for the United States. After going off air, Salmela’s partner asked if he thought they went overboard on the call and Salmela responded emphatically: “No freakin’ way man that was the gold medal!” Indeed.
Am I doing this right?
The Olympic Games are reserved for admiring the athletic feats of the world’s top competitors. But we all witnessed greatness from Swiss skier Fabian Bösch before his events even began. The daredevil showcased a number of head-turning moves, riding an escalator the unorthodox way, two-man bobsledding a forklift, and saluting from high atop the Olympic rings.
Crashing the party
For many, it’s a dream come true to partake in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. One individual, who may or may not have deserved to, lived out the fantasy this year in PyeongChang. Clad in a knee-length red parka and a baseball hat, this guy crashed the Opening Ceremony — twice — before being removed by security.
Polarizing pipe girl
Her extremely average halfpipe run drew international attention. They were a unique sight by juxtaposition, but Elizabeth Swaney is a unique individual. The Silicon Valley software engineer is a Cal and Harvard graduate, ran for Governor of California against Arnold Schwarzenegger, tried out to be an Oakland Raiders cheerleader, and previously failed to reach the Olympics racing skeleton and representing Venezuela. But the 33-year-old achieved her lofty goals this year, representing Hungary in the women’s halfpipe in PyeongChang.