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Tongan flagbearer Pita Taufatofua shares honest message

Tongan taekwondo champ Pita Taufatofua led his team in the Grand Opening of the Rio Olympic Summer Games 2016. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Tongan taekwondo champ Pita Taufatofua led his team in the Grand Opening of the Rio Olympic Summer Games 2016. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The oiled Tongan flagbearer has bared all about being a professional athlete.

The taekwondo champ Pita Taufatofua shared an honest message with his 135,000 followers on instagram. He tells his fans how he bears the injuries, losing matches, financial strain and breakdown of close relationships to pursue his dream.

"The truth isn't glamorous, it isn't shiny.

"The truth is that I have had more injuries than I can count, that I have lost more matches than I have won, that I have gone through massive financial hardship and lost very close relationships in pursuit of the dream.

"What I pride myself in is that I do not quit, I do not stop! Challenge is my training camp.

"Do not go quietly, do not sit in that corner, do not let the World dictate what you can and cannot achieve! Today I got to walk out on the Olympic mats, the mats that I will in a few days be fighting on.

What an honour, what a privilege to be here!"

Great day on the set of @todayshow with @adrianalima ! #brazil #tonga

A photo posted by Pita Taufatofua (@pita_tofua) on


The 32-year-old shot to international fame after his taught, oiled body drew admiration in the Olympics opening ceremony.

Taufatofua is taking on Iran's Sajjad Mardani on August 21 in the men's over 80kg division.

The truth isn't glamorous, it isn't shiny. The truth is that I have had more injuries than I can count, that I have lost more matches than I have won, that I have gone through massive financial hardship and lost very close relationships in pursuit of the dream. What I pride myself in is not my skill in my craft, there are others who will always be better.... What I pride myself in is that I do not quit, I do not stop! Challenge is my training camp. These attributes aren't unique to me but they are an ability we all have within us. Do not go quietly, do not sit in that corner, do not let the World dictate what you can and cannot achieve! Today I got to walk out on the Olympic mats, the mats that I will in a few days be fighting on. What an honour, what a privilege to be here! #doNotGiveUp #Tonga #tonga #brazil #RiseAndRiseAgain

A photo posted by Pita Taufatofua (@pita_tofua) on

- NZ Herald

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