The star of the Olympics opening ceremony was the shirtless, oily Tongan flagbearer who raised over $6,000 to train for the games

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Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Rio 2016



Tonga isn't usually a star nation of the Olympics, but on Friday night at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony, they stole the show thanks to taekwondo fighter Pita Nikolas Taufatofua.

Taufatofua was Tonga's flagbearer during the parade of nation, and he marched out shirtless and drenched in oil, wearing only a Tongan mat, instantly causing a stir in the sports world.

This is Taufatofua's first Olympics and he's Tonga's first taekwondo Olympian.

According to Wall Street Journal, Taufatofua started a Generosity page to crowdsource money to "fund a training camp with world-class fighters, bring his technical coach to that training camp, hire a strength and conditioning coach, buy the electronic system that will be used at the Olympics and cover his costs of travel." His goal was $100,000, according to WSJ. He made only $6,262.

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2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Brazilian top model Gisele Bundchen takes part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. A scene of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016. / AFP / Leon NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Spain's flag bearer Rafael Nadal leads the delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016. / AFP / Leon NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 05: Members of the United States team take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 05: Members of the China Olympic team take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Croatian athletes hold their national flag during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Indonesia arrive in the stadium for the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Fans celebrate during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Flagbearer Michael Phelps (USA) of United States of America leads his contingent during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Mike Blake FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Michael Phelps carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Team Cuba arrives during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Team Burundi arrives during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Luguelin Santos carries the flag of Dominican Republic during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Team Canada wave as they walk into the stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening Ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Athletes of Barbados take part in the opening ceremony REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening Ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Qatar athletes during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening Ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. The Canadian team arrives for the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Flagbearer Ali Al-thani (QAT) of Qatar leads his contingent during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening Ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Flagbearer Mohammad Siddikur Rahman (BAN) of Bangladesh leads his contingent during the opening ceremony REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 05: Members of the Spain Olympic team take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
2016 Rio Olympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 05/08/2016. Actors perform during the opening ceremony REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 5, 2016: Fireworks go off over the Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
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That didn't stop Taufatofua, though. According to WSJ, in an interview with a Tongan website, Taufatofua revealed he's had multiple injuries in his career and was wheelchair-bound for three months.

As WSJ also notes, Taufatofua also gave a preview of his grand Olympics entrance, writing on his Facebook page, "Olympic opening Ceremony tonight! Pumped! We have a little surprise.. Don't blink or you'll miss it."

His entrance quickly made him a star, gaining over 1,000 followers on Instagram within an hour, according to WSJ.

After Friday night, the taekwondo events gained a lot more followers.

tonga flagbearer 2Getty

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