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Tongan Flag-Bearer Returns For Closing Ceremony

Remember Pita Taufatofua, the Tongan flag-bearer who captivated us at the opening ceremony weeks (feels like months) ago? He returned for tonight’s closing ceremony, fresh off losing his taekwondo bout by mercy rule.

That’s not really the point though, right?

“I look after homeless kids,” Taufatofua said. “We have kids who are suicidal, who have anxiety or depression, and I help them with whatever problems they have. I’ve talked kids off jumping off bridges. All the problems that they have growing up that make them homeless … it’s very challenging.”

He heard from some of those homeless kids during the Olympics, along with some formerly homeless kids who are now adults. He has been working as a counselor for 12 years, so he has seen them grow up. As you can imagine, they were surprised to see their counselor become an international sensation.

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Timothy Burke

Timothy Burke is formerly Deadspin's Video Director.

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