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Move Over Pita: Here's the 2022 Olympics' New Shirtless Flag Bearer

Move Over Pita: Here's the 2022 Olympics' New Shirtless Flag Bearer

American Samoa has entered the chat.

 

MikelleStreet

And just like that, we have a new player.

While there are many aspects of the Olympics to look forward to, over the past decade one has been the shirtless flag bearers. From our count, it stretches at least back to 2012 with Josateki Naulu stepping out for Fiji. The trend was brought to new heights by one Pita Taufatofua at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and now Nathan Crumpton is taking up the torch.

Representing American Samoa, Crumpton appeared at Friday's ceremony wearing traditional American Samoa garments. He is at the Games to represent American Samoa in the bobsleigh and skeleton competition and is the only athlete from the country present — he is the first in 28 years to appear at a Winter Games. Crumpton is also the first American Samoa athlete to have competed in the Summer and Winter Games.

Nathan Crumpton for American Samoa at 2022 Beijing Olympics

"American Samoa holding down the fort," Taufatofua tweeted, posting a photo of Crumpton at the games. 

The Tongan had appeared at three games — 2016 in Rio, 2018 in PyeongChang, and 2020 in Tokyo — but is sitting out this year.

"Not everything is in our control. That said I embrace both the good and the bad as part of life, and I do so with a smile," he wrote in an announcement. "This time I will not be sharing the Beijing Olympic Games with you all." He closed the message with "Paris 'we' are coming!" likely referring to the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Tonga has been beset by a string of tragedies including a volcanic eruption, a tsunami, as well as a wave of the ongoing pandemic spurred by humanitarian relief sent to deal with the impact of the tsunami. 

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Mikelle Street

Mikelle Street is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial across Pride.com, The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus. Catch his words on Twitter. 

Mikelle Street is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial across Pride.com, The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus. Catch his words on Twitter.