Rio Olympic Games Opening Ceremony’s Social Media Star Pita Taufatofua’s Shoe Style

Tonga’s first athlete to compete in the Olympics, in tae kwon do, made quite an entrance at the 2016 Rio Games Opening Ceremony.

Shirtless and oiled up, Pita Taufatofua became a social media star on Friday when he waved his country’s flag wearing only a ta’ovala — a traditional skirt of the Polynesian sovereign state — and a pair of simple black flip-flops.

pita taufatofua tonga shirtless rio olympic games opening ceremony flag
Tonga’s shirtless flag-bearer, Pita Taufatofua, wearing simple black flip-flops at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
CREDIT: AP Images.

The martial arts fighter self-funded his journey to the Olympic Games in Brazil’s coastal Rio de Janeiro through the website Genority.com, raising $7,667 — a sum dramatically short of his listed $100,000 goal.

Taufatofua has mixed his sparing uniform’s top and pant sets for some of his fighting matches, wearing mostly Nike and Adidas, but when he won his qualifying match for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, he was in an Adidas ensemble.

Both brands make sparring shoes for the sport.

During his workouts and outings, the athlete has also donned a few styles of Asics running sneakers in a variety of colorways.


The 33-year-old has put his good looks to work while rocking a pair of UGG Australia boots in an editorial campaign-style photo posted to his Instagram page, featuring the footwear label’s logo and branding.

It shows the social media heartthrob wearing a pair of UGG’s classic black sheepskin boots.


Some of the sports apparel he has rocked during his training and appearances include shorts and sweatpants by Adidas, as well as Puma track pants.


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