In the 18 months between the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and the 2018 Winter Games, Tongan Olympic taekwondoka and flag bearer, Pita Taufatofua learned to ski and returned to represent his country as a cross country skier in PyeongChang.
It’s true that most Olympic athletes dedicate themselves entirely to one sport. However, the phenomenon of athletes participating in different sports in order to compete in both the summer and winter Games, is not entirely uncommon. Here are 10 athletes who have competed in both the Winter and Summer Games.
Pita Taufatofua burst onto the Olympic stage as the shirtless, oiled-up flag bearer for Tonga in the Opening Ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. In Brazil, he competed in taekwondo and was eliminated in his first bout. (Getty)
Taufatofua returned two years later, once again carrying the flag for Tonga at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, where he competed in cross country skiing. He competed in the 15km freestyle race, finishing 114th out of 119. (Getty)
Hurdler Lolo Jones represented the United States at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and again four years later at the 2012 London Games. (Getty)
After winning a gold medal at the 2013 FIBT Bobsled World Championship, Jones was selected as a brakewoman for the U.S. bobsled team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Getty).
Allyn Condon first represented Team GB in athletics at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, where he competed as part of the 4×100 relay team. (Getty)
Inspired by the film
Cool Runnings, Condon abandoned track and field for bobsled and returned to represent Team GB at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Getty)
As a sprinter, Lauryn Williams represented Team USA at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Games. She won a silver medal in Athens for the 100 meters and took gold in London in the 4×100 meter relay. (Getty)
Williams switched to bobsled and represented Team USA at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi where she won a silver medal in the two-woman bobsled event. (Getty)
Dutch speed skater Jan Bos made his Olympic debut at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano. He went on to represent the Netherlands in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, winning silver medals in the 1,000 meter in Nagano and Salt Lake City. (Getty)
Bos also represented Holland at Olympic level in the 2004 Summer Games, where he competed in the team sprint track cycling event. (Getty)
Sprinter Willie Davenport made his Olympic debut in 1964 and won a gold medal in the 110 meter hurdle four years later at the 1968 Games. He represented Team USA at the 1972 Games and won a bronze in the 110 meter at the 1976 Games. (AP Photo)
Davenport returned to the Olympics in 1980, as a bobsledder, becoming the first African American to represent the USA at the Winter Games. (AP)
Canadian alpine and cross country skier Georgia Simmerling made her Olympic debut in alpine skiingat the 2010 Games and went on to compete in the 2014 Games in ski cross. (Getty)
Simmerling suffered a wrist injury in skiing and switched to track cycling. She qualified to represent Canada at the 2016 Rio Games and won a bronze in the team pursuit. (Getty)
Chris Witty first represented Team USA as a speed skater, competing at the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Games. She medaled three times; winning silver in the 1,000 meter and bronze in the 1,500 meter in 1998, before taking gold in the 1,000 meter in 2002. (Getty)
Witty also represented the U.S. at the 2000 Games, competing in track cycling. (Getty)
Japan’s Sayuri Osuga competed in both the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games as a speed skater. (Getty)
Osuga also represented Japan as a cyclist at the 2004 summer games in Athens where she competed in the 500 meter time trial event.(Getty)
Hungarian Leila Gyenesei made her Olympic debut as a cross country skier when she represented her country at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. (Getty)
Two years later, Gyenesei returned to the Olympics, competing in the Summer Games in modern pentathlon. (Getty)