As Fiji battles one of its greatest challenges with over 1100 per day now testing positive for COVID-19, the nation’s second Olympic gold medal is providing its people with a sense of pride and a determination to overcome.
With reports that the COVID hotline in Fiji fell silent as the country’s rugby 7s team defeated New Zealand 27-12, the victory is giving Fijians a reason to smile and celebrate.
Women and children from Nadi’s Nawaka village danced in celebration after the win, which was celebrated across the Pacific.
The Pacific Advocate invited readers on our Facebook page to send a congratulatory message to the team, and over 370 people responded.
Sanil Samy wrote, “Our country is going through hard times but you OUR HEROS have given smiles to our beloved nation . And wheneva game of sevens come, no color .no race . No hatred (sic).”
“Congratulations. Praise the Lord. No other team in the world sings a hymn to our LORD Jesus except for you boys in any tournament,” added Immanuel Prasad.
“In the heart of every Fijian in the country and around the world without a doubt one Gold medal feels like Fiji has won the Olympic Games as a whole!!”
“Just thank you so much for a great and marvelous job being done. You had brought smiles to the families in Fiji during this trying times.”
“The smallest of the nations in terms of population and land size but the biggest in terms of achievement in terms of Olympics mens 7s rugby. Congratulations to the team.”
“Congratulations to our super heroes. You have done it once again. We feel very happy.”
Fiji team captain Jerry Tuwai said he had God to thank for everything.
“We asked for the fire coz we know he will be with us through the Heat (sic). God Is Good,” Tuwai posted on his Facebook page.
Fiji’s support for the team was solid right from the start.
Villagers of Waitabu in Taveuni came together to cheer on one of their own, national rep Iosefo Masi.
In a video shared on Facebook, the team had time to celebrate by dancing in their dressing room shortly after their last game.
A member of the team’s management Jay Headly said he was honoured to share in the highs and lows and experience sacrifices.
“We set out three-years ago to not only win the gold medal but to grow, develop and actualise the team’s fullest potential through our vision of possibility – to develop a system that combines world-class high-performance conditioning and technical/tactical coaching, with leading-edge mental skills to optimise the conditions for the Fiji Spirit to flow, thrive and grow,” he said.
“Our focus was beyond winning and losing – to have faith in our processes.
“This team exceeded all my unconditional expectations of greatness.
“Thank you, my heart is full.”
The Pacific Advocate is sending all of the congratulatory messages to the team this week.