Fiji awaits gold medal team to start national celebrations


The Fiji 7s team’s Olympic win not only made sporting history for Fiji but it was also the first time an Olympic gold had ever been won by a small island nation. Video: Fijian Government

The proud nation of Fiji is awaiting the arrival of the Fiji 7s team who made history last Friday by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the country. The team will return from Rio and arrive in Fiji on Sunday.

According to Fiji Village the country will hold a victory celebration on Monday, August 22, which has been reserved as a public holiday.

Plans for the parade are being coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Fiji Rugby Union.

The government has already announced that the players will get $30,000 each for winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

No easy journey
The team’s coach, Ben Ryan, told Sky Sports News HQ that it had not been an easy journey to get the team where it was today.

“Day one was no money – I was not paid for five months. The union in Fiji had gone bankrupt and World Rugby had stopped any money because they were worried where it was going. We had nothing really, I was paying for the petrol for the bus to take the boys to training.

“Fast forward three years and we have got a full-time programme, we’ve got overseas coaches, we are double back-to-back world champions, and we have won Olympic gold all in the space of 24 months.”

Ryan will return to Fiji with the team but plans on moving back to England soon.

He said his time in Fiji is a moment in his career he would never forget.

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