Tonga's Pita Taufatofua on what the Olympic spirit means to him

Tongan taekwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua shares his thoughts about fame, helping others and what the Olympic spirit means to him.

Video Transcript


PITA TAUFATOFUA: My goal was never fame. I don't particularly see any great joy in walking down the street and being stopped every two seconds, depending on where you are in the world. But with it has come more opportunities and possibilities.

I don't really get dispirited much. I'm quite positive focused. I worked in a homeless shelter for 15 years with kids, and one thing I learned there was that I don't have any reason to be upset at life, right? I had a tough life being brought up in the islands not having much, but I saw just how powerful the human spirit is to overcome. And I thought, I don't need to be upset. Let me just try and be as positive as possible.

It's something that's never left me, that Olympic spirit, and seeing just what it means to people. I think everyone has that spirit, the spirit of overcoming challenge and pushing through adversity. And that, to me, is what the Olympics is about. That's what drives me. That's why I'm still going. It doesn't end.