Sport

From sand to snow for Pita Taufatofua

Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT) December 27, 2016
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Pita Taufatofua became an Internet sensation when he carried the Tongan flag at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics. Paul Gilham/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Covered in coconut oil and in traditional dress, it was a personal nod to his ancestors of 200 years ago. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
But the combination of the taekwondo fighter's oil and physique set off a social media storm. Harry How/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
It was his first appearance at the Olympics, having failed to qualify on two previous occasions. Taufatofua lost his preliminary bout against Iran's Sajjad Mardani (R) in the +80 kg category. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/AFP/Getty Images/file
He says he is not yet done with his Olympic ambitions, and is instead bidding to qualify for the 2018 Winter Games as a cross-country skier. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
The 33-year-old has swapped the sand for snow even though he admits he has spent only four minutes of his life on skis. Harry How/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
His decision to strip down and cover himself in oil led to passionate responses from his fellow athletes inside Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Stadium. Paul Gilham/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Since then his life has been a blur, from appearing on the Harry Connick Jr. Show to being mobbed on returning to his native Tonga. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Based in Australia, he has his sights set on getting in shape for wintry climes, with his first skiing lesson scheduled for January 8, 2017. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images South America/Getty Images