The ‘Today Show’ Hosts Got Uncomfortably Handsy With The Internet’s Favorite Tongan Olympic Athlete

08.08.16 1 year ago 5 Comments
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TODAY Show screen shot

Tongan Olympic flag bearer Pita Taufatofua stole the hearts and impure thoughts of people all across the world during the Opening Ceremony by walking through Maracana Stadium oiled and shirtless. You would think a grown man’s exposed nipples and muscly chest would have been newsworthy for less than a minute, but the TODAY Show thinks you’re wrong.

Taufatofua took part in an interview that was as uncomfortable as it was mostly nude. Hosts Hoda Tkob and Jenna Bush Hager literally rubbed oil on the chest of Taufatofua — who is in Rio to participate in taekwando, by the the way — while Al Roker was conducting an interview. Even Matt Lauer took part in the rubbing and touching, even if he was just forcing someone else’s hand on Taufatofua’s body.

I’m not sure if there is a perfect word in the English language to describe a scene where Taufatofua is answering a question about all the setbacks he’s had in his life before earning a spot on the Tonga Olympic team while two women rub their oily hands on his chest. Not surprisingly, he can’t get out his answer, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the man has been through a lot:

But before his star turn as a gleaming, beaming flag bearer, Taufatofua’s road to Rio had been anything but slick. In an interview with a Tongan news website, he said that over the years he has broken six bones and torn three ligaments, spent three months in a wheelchair and, at one point, had to use crutches for a year and a half.

Taufatofua, the first person from Tonga to compete at an Olympics in taekwando, will be in action this Saturday.

(Via Today, Wall Street Journal)

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