Tonga at the Winter Olympics

Tonga was looking at making its Winter Olympic debut at the 2010 Winter Olympics with a single competitor in luge, Bruno Banani, but he crashed in the final round of qualifying. It was later discovered that he had altered his name from Fuahea Semi to that of one of his sponsors, a German lingerie firm, as a marketing stunt.

Tonga finally made its maiden appearance at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014, with Banani this time qualifying. The nation’s token contingent was comprised of Banani and a couple of officials. Banani competed in the men’s singles luge event and placed 32nd.

The Tongan taekwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua, who carried his country's flag and made headlines with his oiled and shirtless look at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics, to become the second Tongan athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics, this time in cross-country skiing.

Although the 170-island South Pacific nation failed to make it into the medal medium on its first attempt at the Winter Games, it has already won a medal at the Summer Olympic Games courtesy of Paea Wolfgramm who clinched the silver medal in the men's super heavyweight division in boxing competition at 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, followed by the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing. Check out the list of olympic sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

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