Tonga Olympian

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua reveals Olympic kayaking dream

The 35 year old double Olympian first made global headlines with a shirtless entrance as Tonga's flagbearer at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, a feat he repeated at last year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

After representing his country in taekwondo and cross-country skiing, Taufatofua told RNZ Pacific in July last year he planned to take up another new sport in time for Tokyo 2020.

He's now revealed to the BBC he wants to be a sprint kayaker and has set his sights on qualifying for the K1 200m event in Japan.

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua ready to compete

RNZ reports the 32 year old has been one of the most talked about athletes in Rio, since his coconut-oiled body made global headlines during the Games opening ceremony.

The Oceania taekwondo champion has since made a string of media appearances and created countless column inches online.

He said despite the intense spotlight that has shone on him in Rio he's confident it hasn't affected his training and preparation.

"I feel ready. I mean it's time - it's been a long time coming (and) I'm just happy to get up there and compete," he said.