Olympic Day: Tongan flag bearer leads off 23 fellow Olympians in workouts

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Published: June 23, 2020 12:21 PM

Taufatofua, who was a taekwondo competior at Rio and a cross-country skier at Pyeongchang, appeared to have difficulty hearing the moderator but proceeded eventually while wearing a red Tongan shirt in what appeared to be a home gym.

Olympic Day, Tongan flag bearer, Peta Taufatofua, Pyeongchang, coronavirus shutdowns, Olympians workout, global pandemic, sports newsThe workouts were designed to encourage exercise among those affected by coronavirus shutdowns around the world. (AP photo)

Peta Taufatofua decided to leave his shirt on Tuesday when he led a group of 23 fellow Olympians in a home workout video to help celebrate Olympic Day across 20 time zones. There were a few technical glitches when Taufatofua, who caused a stir when he went shirtless while carrying the Tongan flag shirtless at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics opening ceremony and again in the cold of Pyeongchang, South Korea at the Winter Olympics two years later, began the workout at 11 a.m. Tongan time.

Taufatofua, who was a taekwondo competior at Rio and a cross-country skier at Pyeongchang, appeared to have difficulty hearing the moderator but proceeded eventually while wearing a red Tongan shirt in what appeared to be a home gym.

A blog of the workouts later followed New Zealand women’s rugby sevens player Tyla Nathan-Wong, Australian diver Melissa Wu and Japanese pole vaulter Yamamoto Seito, all at 11 a.m. in their home countries. The 23rd and last athlete scheduled to appear was American gymnast Kyla Ross.

The workouts were designed to encourage exercise among those affected by coronavirus shutdowns around the world. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed to next year because of the global pandemic.

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