'We will rebuild' - Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua shares touching message for cyclone-hit Tonga from Winter Olympics

Source: 1News

Tonga's Olympic flag bearer Pita Taufatofua has sent a special message to his people tonight after the Pacific nation was battered by Cyclone Gita earlier in the week.

Taufatofua represented Tonga at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is competing in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the cross-country skiing event.

"The Tongan people and Pacific Islanders have a very unique personality - they laugh at everything," said Taufatofua.

"They joke about everything, they do it in a way that they can make light of anything – it can be the most worst possible circumstance.

"They'll find some way to turn it into a positive and that is something very unique about Polynesians."

Taufatofua said the heart of the Tongan people and culture will help them get through.

"If there is a specific message to them you know we will rebuild," said Taufatofua.

"We've been rebuilding for a thousand years, we've had cyclones come before.

"What hasn't been affected is the heart of the people.

"Buildings we can repair but the core values and the core strengths of the Tongan people, no cyclone can come through and affect them – that hasn't been touched.

"And that's what is going to get our people through this."