Olympic flag bearer Pita Taufatofua is concerned about his home country of Tonga after it was hit by a cyclone that destroyed Parliament House as well as churches and homes.
The 34-year-old cross-country skier thanked people on Facebook for their messages of support and said he still hasn’t heard if friends and family are safe.
Taufatofua gained international attention at the Winter Olympics when he marched bare chested into the opening ceremony carrying his country’s flag. He also marched bare chested in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, albeit in more mild conditions.
Now that he’s in South Korea preparing to compete, part of him wishes he was back home with his countrymen. In the meantime, he is looking to help raise funds for the damaged country.
He competed in the Summer Olympics in taekwondo and decided to try his hand at cross-country skiing. He only picked up the sport within the last two years, but managed to qualify for the games on his last attempt.
He’s not expected to compete for the medal.