NEWS
02/25/2018 09:48 EST | Updated 02/25/2018 09:52 EST

Tonga's Flag-Bearer, Pita Taufatofua, Enters Closing Ceremony In Clothes, Then Takes Them Off

Baby steps.

Pita Taufatofua of Tonga stands on stage during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
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Pita Taufatofua of Tonga stands on stage during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

This is Tongan Olympian Pita Taufatofua.


Getty Images
Tongan cross country skier Pita Taufatofua speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

You might recall his appearance at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics earlier this month, when he showed up as his country's flag- and chest bearer:

Getty Images
Pita Taufatofua of Tonga leads his country during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Memories. After his grand entrance, Taufatofua went on to compete in cross country skiing at the 2018 Games, a sport he got into shortly after participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio (where his shirtless and glistening Olympic origin story began.)

Though he didn't medal in his recently-chosen sport, Taufatofua said his true goal is to inspire future athletes from his country.

AFP/Getty Images
Tonga's Pita Taufatofua holds up his national flag after crossing the finish line during the men's 15km cross country freestyle at the Alpensia cross country ski centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb.16, 2018 in Pyeongchang.

Fast forward to Sunday and Taufatofua was once again representing Tonga at the Games' closing ceremony. But this time, he chose not walk in as an incandescent barrel of oil. The 34-year-old opted for a more winter-appropriate get-up, known as clothes.

Getty Images
Pita Taufatofua of Tonga walks in the Parade of Athletes during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

It seemed like the days of the "shirtless flag-bearer" were behind us.


EPA
Pakistan's Muhammad Karim (L) and Tonga's Pita Taufatofua are photographed during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang county, South Korea, on Feb. 25, 2018.

No more collective online swooning. No more jokes about "heating up the Winter Olympics." No more oily, shimmering displ-

PITA, NO!


The Associated Press via CP
Tonga's Pita Taufatofua reacts during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Feb. 25, 2018.

YOU TRICKED US.


Dan Istitene via Getty Images

WE TRUSTED YOU.


Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

WAIT, YOU HAVE GLOVES ON?

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

PLEASE EXPLAIN.


Maddie Meyer via Getty Images
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach and Lee Hee-beom, President & CEO of Pyeongchang Organizing Committee stand on the stage with Lindsey Vonn of the U.S, Pita Taufatofua of Tonga and other Olympic athletes during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 25, 2018.

OH, YOU'RE POSING FOR GROUP PHOTOS NOW?


Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images

FINE. YOU WIN. STAY SHIRTLESS.


David Ramos via Getty Images

SEE YOU IN 2020.


Dan Istitene via Getty Images

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