Vanuatu’s Riilio Rii steals hearts at Tokyo Olympics as he carries country's flag

Vanuatu’s champion rower Riilio Rii appeared to be the new heartthrob at the forefront of the Olympics opening ceremonies on Friday.

While fans watching the Games were going gaga over Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua, Rii carried the flag shirtless in Tokyo and appeared to be just as buff and chiseled as the Tongan taekwondo star.

"Indeed, in view of his sporting performances, Rio was chosen to carry the colors of Vanuatu during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. He will be the first rower to do this," the Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee said in a press release.

Social media users tried to warn Taufatofua that Rii was coming for everything.

Rii is one of three athletes representing the island nation at the Olympics this year. Rii will be competing in the rowing competition in hopes of being the first athlete from his country to win a medal.

Vanuatu has been sending athletes to the Summer Olympics since 1988 in Seoul. The country has sent 34 total athletes to the Games, but never to the Winter Games.

Rowing competitions begin on July 27 with the men’s and women’s quadruple sculls. Single sculls, which Rii will be participating in, start July 30.


Photo source VASANOC/Facebook    Caption: Team Vanuatu with flagbearer Riilio Rii ready to enter the arena for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics