Tongan finishes 114th in Olympic cross-country | SummitDaily.com
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Tongan finishes 114th in Olympic cross-country

Associated Press
Pita Taufatofua, of Tonga, smiles after finishing the men's 15km freestyle cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
AP | AP

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua has finished the 15-kilometer individual race at the Pyeongchang Olympics — and he didn’t even hit a tree.

The 34-year-old Taufatofua, best known for participating in the last two Olympic opening ceremonies without a shirt, says he was pleased he didn’t fall on the course Friday, particularly in the final 100 meters in front of the grandstand.

As he was nearing the finish line, Taufatofua thought to himself, “Please God, not in front of everyone — don’t give me my first fall.”

Taufatofua finished 114th of 119 competitors. Two racers finished behind him, and three others either did not finish or were disqualified.

Race winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland says Taufatofua represents what the Olympics are all about.


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