Pita Taufatofua changed the course of Olympic history when, in 2016, he participated in the opening ceremony’s Parade of Nations, oiled and shirtless waving the flag of his native Tonga. Taufatoua, who from that moment was dubbed the “Topless Tongan,” bravely repeated his performance in Pyeongchang during the 2018 Parade, going shirtless despite the cold weather. He was set to make his third appearance at Tokyo 2020, where he qualified to represent Tonga in taekwondo, but alas—at the behest of Dick Pound there will be no Olympics in 2020. There will, however, be a Topless Tongan. Praise the old gods and the new.
Taufatofua’s beautiful (albeit non-oiled) bod, melodic voice, and perfect eyebrows will be made available for viewing thanks to the Olympic Channel’s Instagram page, where the three-sport athlete and two-time Olympian will be hosting daily workout classes from his home starting Tuesday, March 24 and sadly ending Saturday, March 28. Strictly for the purposes of journalistic integrity, I took Taufatofua’s class this morning to ensure that he would, in fact, be topless, and the man did not disappoint. The abs, the smile, the eyebrows—it was all popping. The workout was also not bad, although I would not recommend doing it topless if you’re a person with tits. I learned this lesson the hard way.
The class began with some words of encouragement and basic mobility to really “lubricate” the joints. I tried to keep up but after hearing that man say “lubricate,” obviously I needed to lie down for a moment. Taufatofua’s large arm circles accounted for the best part of the warm-up, in that they allowed for a perfect view of his entire torso. He then went through a circuit of basic full-body exercises which he renamed because that’s what charming fucking athletes do. Jumping jacks were “call for helps,” opposite arm extensions were “reach for the mango,” high kicks were “kick the coconuts” (mmm), and my personal favorite was the cross-jabs, which he referred to as “punching away negativity.”
I know very little about the nation of Tonga, but if Pita Taufatofua would like to call me and have a topless conversation about its attributes, its geographies, really anything—my Zoom is ready, willing, and able. Until we find each other, I will likely be tuning in every day for all of his classes.