Olympian David Katoatau finished in 14th place in the 105-kilogram weightlifting event yesterday — but that didn’t stop him from dancing like he’d won gold.
Katoatau’s giant smile and joyful moves quickly made him a crowd favourite and an Internet sensation. He even broke into dance after squandering his final lifting attempt by dropping the barbell too early. Reuters reported that he got more cheers than any other weightlifter.
Katoatau, 32, competes for the remote Pacific nation of Kiribati, and he told Reuters that his dancing is part of a larger mission: He’s trying to raise awareness about the effects of climate change on his home. Kiribati’s 21 inhabited islands have been hit hard by extreme erosion and rising sea levels in recent years.
“Most people don’t know where Kiribati is,” he told Reuters. “I want people to know more about us so I use weightlifting, and my dancing, to show the world.”
This is actually his second time making headlines at Rio games: Katoatau was Kiribati’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony, and he seized the opportunity to bust a move.
He certainly knows how to get the world’s attention.
Watch Katoatau’s dance moves right here:
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