Editorial comment – You make us very proud

The Fijiana team celebrate after receiving their Olympic bronze medal at the Tokyo Stadium in Japan. Picture: TWITTER/WORLD RUGBY

There was so much to celebrate on Saturday night as Fijians lapped up the scenes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, in the battle for the bronze medal. After a nail-biter semi-fi nal against New Zealand, the Fijiana were up against Great Britain to decide bronze
medal winners.

We were unfortunate to lose to the Kiwis. It was unfortunate that we could not make it count when it mattered.

In fact for all intents and purposes, it looked like we had the game in the bag at one stage.

We were very competitive. In fact we were far more composed, and we had structure in our game. We went in with pace, a strong defensive shape and glimpses of brilliance when we attacked.

Along the way, we defeated Rio gold medallists Australia. Doing that on the way to the finals meant something.

It effectively placed the Fijiana on the highest pedestal. It catapulted them to dizzying heights.

Fijiana rugby has not enjoyed the limelight. It hasn’t enjoyed the attention reserved for the giants of the sport.

In a sense, at one stage of our development, we were almost like an afterthought. That’s probably the most apt description of our campaign.

It is rude perhaps. It isn’t rosy, and it reeks of bias.

But the harsh reality of our game is that we did not give due recognition to those who mattered.

But did it cage them in? Did it pull them back? Did it serve as a broken cog in the wheels? It did not! It probably served to motivate them!

On Saturday night everything changed.

When it mattered the most, our women dug deep within, and discovered their hunger for victory.

They discovered the hunger to make things happen.

Our women played their hearts out. They shrugged aside the semi-final loss, cast aside their demons, and marched into the play-offs for the bronze medal.

What happened on Saturday night in Tokyo will go down in the annals of Fijian women’s rugby as its greatest achievement.

Against better resourced teams, they stood tall.

Against teams that had a huge budget for the Olympics, they stood tall. And when it mattered, they delivered!

What a show! What confidence! And weren’t they on fire! We are nothing more than just a dot on the world map. For many people around the world, it’s even difficult to pick out the tiny island of Fiji.

Yet we sit among the elite few that have won medals at the premier sporting event on the planet. How much better can it get?

Not everyone will win an Olympics medal. Yet every four years, thousands of men and women train for this ultimate prize. They yearn for it. They dream about it, and they make huge sacrifi ces for it. At the games, they empty their tanks for the right to bear a medal and be  counted as Olympic Games champions. Take a bow Fijiana!

You give us hope that nothing is impossible. You make us very proud!

More Stories