Pita Taufatofua honoured to represent Tonga in 3 Olympic sports

Pita Taufatofua has achieved his plans to be the first from his country and the Pacific region to compete in three sports in the Olympic Games.

The 37-year-old will be representing Tonga in the Tokyo Olympics in taekwondo.

He has previously competed in cross country skiing and sprint kayak 200m.

“I thought I wanted to be the first person in modern history to compete in three different Olympic sports. So we had the taekwondo inside. We had the cross country skiing which is a long distance event out in the snow and then now it was about a short distant evet, the sprint on water.”

The soon to be three time Olympian said it was after his qualification in taekwondo that made him pursue further in other sports.

“I qualified for the Rio Olympics in 2016 in taekwondo after trying for over 20 years and that was a great experience. After that I thought what am I going to do next. How am I going to push myself just to find those limits?”

“And then I decided to go and try within one year and qualify in cross country skiing. I wanted to choose a sport which I thought would be the hardest sport for me. I’m a 100 kilogram but the cross country skiing guys weigh around 60,70 kilograms. So they are a lot lighter than me.”

“But I thought this is a challenge that I need to try. And within one year I managed to reach Olympic level and qualify for Tonga. First ever skier for Tonga.”

Taufatofua said it was his mother that introduced him to taekwondo.

“I started at 5 years old in taekwondo. My mother brought me in taekwondo because she wanted us to learn self-defense. And it’s a sport that once it’s in the blood, it does not leave.”

Taufatofua has been training in Brisbane for the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s an absolute honour, I mean I’ve always wanted to be an Olympian for Tonga. Every time I wear red and the Tongan flag, it’s a privilege for me to carry that forward. To carry the hearts and souls of the Tongan people and the Pacific islanders as well.”