Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz
The Vodafone Fiji 7s team 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 are awaiting the arrival of the Vodafone Fiji 7s team who made history last Friday by winning the first ever Olympic gold medal for the country. The team return from Rio and arrive in Fiji on Sunday.
According to Fiji Village the country will hold a victory celebration on Monday, August 22nd 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 teams coach, Ben Ryan, told Sky Sports News HQ that it had not been an easy journey to get the team where it is 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 program, 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 will never forget.