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‘Today’ ladies get very handsy with Tongan Olympian Pita Taufatofua

Put down the coconut oil, Hoda.


Lyz Lenz


Posted on Aug 10, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 7:10 am CDT

How do you change up the clichéd small-talk of Today segments? Well, you get Jenna Bush Hager, Natalie Morales, and Hoda Kotb to awkwardly oil down Tongan Olympian Pita Taufatofua.

Taufatofua, who will compete for Tonga in taekwondo, made headlines during the Opening Ceremony, when he walked into the Olympic stadium bearing the Tongan flag—and a gleaming chest.

But Taufatofua’s journey to the Olympics hasn’t been easy, something he tried to explain to Al Roker while the three women rubbed oil on his body. Looking very uncomfortable, Taufatofua kept trying to tell Roker about his 20-year journey to compete in the Olympics, which has included six broken bones, three torn ligaments, three months in a wheelchair, and using crutches for a year and a half. He even had a crowdfunding campaign that helped get him to Rio. 

But he was interrupted by all the giggling and grabbing.

Not everyone thought this was so fun, however.

Just a reminder that a man is more than his oily chest. 

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*First Published: Aug 10, 2016, 11:30 am CDT