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Fiji men's 7s team win Olympic gold

Fiji Sports

Fiji men's 7s team win back to back Olympic goldFiji men's 7s team win back to back Olympic goldTHE Fiji men's Rugby brought a much-needed victory to its country with a gold medal in rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday with a 27-12 win over New Zealand.


Then at the medal ceremony on Thursday, the Fijian players paid a touching and emotional tribute to their country by singing a traditional song called "E Da Sa Qaqa," which contains lyrics translated to "we will overcome."

Fiji has dealt with a devastating COVID-19 outbreak this year, which has wrecked the small island nation over the past few months.

The country, which has a population of just 900,000 and an underdeveloped health care system, has seen more than 25,000 cases and 200 deaths.

The players had to spend the last five months away from family and friends training in Australia while their country struggled with a pandemic, as they were not allowed to return to avoid the risk of infection.

The team captain Jerry Tuwai almost backed out to return home, but he stuck with his team and helped lead the effort to bring a gold medal to his distressed nation.

"I have three kids, so it is really hard for me," Tuwai said in a press conference. "We have our ups and downs in camp. It's a long story. I nearly jumped camp because I missed them and we are really close. That is why (Gareth Baber) is the coach - he grabbed me inside the camp, and he tied us together so we can continue the journey towards Tokyo."

Things didn't get much easier for the team when it came time to travel to Tokyo. After the pandemic grounded most airlines into Japan, the Fijian players had to hitch a ride on a cargo flight filled with frozen fish and athletes from several other Pacific countries.

Yet, they managed to overcome all the obstacles to defend the gold medal they last claimed at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"It is more special than 2016 because we have been away from our families for about five or six months," Tuwai said.

The people of Fiji were given a brief distraction from the ongoing pandemic. Despite a curfew in the country that requires citizens to stay indoors from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., thousands of Fijians broke the curfew to celebrate the victory by singing hymns and dancing in the streets.




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