Rio Gives Joy, Let’s Cel­e­brate To­day, To­mor­row

Fiji Sun - - Comment - OSEA BOLA Feed­back: os­eab@fi­

When Osea Kolin­isau and Team Fiji men’s sev­ens rugby team sank to their knees to re­ceive their gold medals for Princess Anne at the Deodoro Sta­dium, it marks a defin­ing mo­ment for our coun­try of less than 1mil­lion peo­ple

It was a mo­ment of great his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance for our na­tion and we in­deed need to cel­e­brate this rare achieve­ment start­ing in Nadi to­day. Rio Olympics 2016 will for­ever be re­mem­bered by this cur­rent and the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. The achieve­ment of Team Fiji’s men’s rugby sev­ens team would have a marked and last­ing im­pact and would def­i­nitely in­spire many young peo­ple to em­u­late. We proved to the world that de­spite be­ing a small is­land na­tion in Pa­cific Ocean, we can com­pete and beat the best. And as the 31st Olympiad came to a close at the Mara­cana Sta­dium, we fared bet­ter than most coun­tries which are more wealth­ier and re­source­ful than us.

Out of the 205 par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries, we fin­ished 51st bet­ter than such big coun­tries as In­dia, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Mex­ico, Por­tu­gal and Ire­land. To­day and to­mor­row we should honor our rugby sev­ens heroes who sac­ri­ficed a lot to bring us glory Coach Ben Ryan and the team showed that rugby is truly a global game and de­served a place back in the four-yearly show­piece since the Paris Olympics 1924.

It’s al­most a fore­gone con­clu­sion now that the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee would give rugby sev­ens a per­ma­nent spot at the 2020 Olympics and be­yond when they meet in May, 2017. How the Fi­jians mes­merised the world with a show of rugby bril­liance and pure class was quite ex­cep­tional. Beat­ing Olympic na­tions Brazil, Ar­gentina, United States, New Zealand, Ja­pan and Great Bri­tain and to come out the only un­beaten team in com­pe­ti­tion showed real char­ac­ter, grit and qual­ity of a team who trained in the sand dunes, sleep in dor­mi­to­ries and op­er­ate on a shoe­string bud­get. We should be united in our stand to cel­e­brate a unique oc­ca­sion and we should ap­plaud the Gov­ern­ment, Fiji As­so­ci­a­tion of Sports and Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, busi­nesses, Fiji Rugby Union, donors and gen­er­ous fans and the play­ers’ fam­i­lies for be­ing sup­port­ive for the na­tional cause from the start. We should be proud that we are the only coun­try in the world who cel­e­brate our sport­ing achieve­ments by declar­ing a pub­lic hol­i­day to pay tribute to our heroes. Let’s wel­come our heroes to­day (Nadi), and to­mor­row (Suva) and cel­e­brate a job well done.

Fi­jian 7s Team cap­tain Osea Kolin­isau cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning Fiji’s first Olympic gold medal in Rio.

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