Tonga’s topless Olympic flag-bearer raises Rs 3 crore in disaster aid

AgenciesUpdated:Friday, January 21, 2022, 02:31 PM IST
article-image
Pita Taufatofua | Pool

Remember Pita Taufatofua, the well-oiled topless shirtless Olympic flag-bearer from Tonga, who took the social media by storm, is back in news. Besides Summer Olympics in Rio and Tokyo, Pita was seen shirtless holding the flag at the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics – shirtless, where while he later participated in the cross-country skiing.

But when tragedy struck Tonga recently, Taufatofua raised thousands of dollars, to help the island country overcome the impact of a devastating volcanic eruption.

By setting up a GoFundMe page Taufatofua collected more than Rs 3 crore in funds to help his countrymen.

In a post on social media, Taufatofua wrote, “As you all know a large tsunami caused by a volcanic eruption has devastated Tonga. The eruption occurred in Ha’apai and spread through to all islands.

“Initial reports of damage have been catastrophic and all communications with Tonga have been wiped out. In preparation and through the recovery efforts we are seeking your donations to help our island kingdom.”

He promised that the donations will be used to support Tonga in its rebuilding efforts, towards those in need, and for repairs of infrastructure, including schools and hospitals damaged due to eruptions.

A concerned Taufatofua also said that ever since the tsunami struck the island, he has lost contact with his father, who is the governor of the Ha’apai group of islands.

The island was isolated after losing all contacts with the outside world. The impact had left the island without electricity, internet and telephone wires.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Mumbai: Latest Updates - Helmets soon be mandatory for pillion riders

Mumbai: Latest Updates - Helmets soon be mandatory for pillion riders

SpiceJet ransomware attack: Flights to airports with restrictions on night operations cancelled

SpiceJet ransomware attack: Flights to airports with restrictions on night operations cancelled

Weather update: Light to moderate rainfall expected in Konkan, Goa; few parts of Maharashtra to...

Weather update: Light to moderate rainfall expected in Konkan, Goa; few parts of Maharashtra to...

Caste-based census: Bihar minister says BJP on board, no comment by saffron party

Caste-based census: Bihar minister says BJP on board, no comment by saffron party

NSE co-location scam: ED seeks answers to 5 key points from former MD Chitra Ramkrishna

NSE co-location scam: ED seeks answers to 5 key points from former MD Chitra Ramkrishna