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Why dancing weightlifter David Katoatau should be your favourite Olympian

  • 16
  • 08
  • 2016

David Katoatau is a three-time Olympian in weightlifting who hails from the tiny island nation of Kiribati.

The 32-year-old athlete won gold in the 105kg group A at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the first Commonwealth Games medal for his nation.

But it’s not just his weightlifting prowess that has grabbed our attention.


It seems the world has fallen in love with Katoatau – thanks to his incredibly joyous dancing.

In fact, regardless of whether he wins a medal or fails on his lift, Katoatau always ends his competitions with a dance and a huge smile on his face.

David Katoatau, of Kiribati.
(Mike Groll/AP)

But despite revealing his lighter side on stage, the weightlifter’s moves aren’t just for show.

His stage antics are an attempt to raise awareness of the threat climate change poses to Katoatau’s homeland in the central Pacific Ocean.

David Katoatau, of Kiribati.
(Mike Groll/AP)

Last year, he wrote an open letter to plead for help, which was distributed at a Commonwealth Games Federation meeting by Katoatau’s coach, Paul Coffa.

“The simple truth is that we do not have the resources to save ourselves,” he said in the letter. “We will be the first to go.

David Katoatau, of Kiribati.
(Mike Groll/AP)

“I beg the countries of the world to see what is happening to Kiribati.

“It will be the extinction of a race. Open your eyes and look to the other low-lying level islands around the Pacific – they will soon fall with us.”

And of course, we can’t help but fall in love with this athlete.


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