Team Fiji is wrapping up here in Tokyo in anticipation of returning to Fiji on 10 August 2021 via Sydney.
Tokyo 2020 has been our most successful Olympic outing since our first participation in 1956, Team Fiji has secured a Gold medal and a Bronze medal and is currently ranked equal 45th on the medal tally. Both our medals have come from Rugby Sevens however the Olympics has been an eye opener for all our athletes.
Swimmers Taichi Vakasama and Cheyenne Rova, Sailor Sophia Morgan, Sprinter Banuve Tabukaucoro, Table Tennis’s Sally Yee and Judoka Tevita Takayawa along with our Rugby Players are buoyed with confidence and experience at the highest level.
They all agree that this experience has been like no other. Sophia in a conversation said, I’ve learned so much just by watching and observing the biggest names in Sailing lining up next to me and seeing what they do and how they do it. It’s been a phenomenal and I look forward to applying these lessons.
Taichi said he really enjoyed the competition. I’ve swam the best since 2019 and not having access to an Olympic sized pool and the stop start training because of COVID restrictions in Fiji affected my preparations but to maintain my time from 2019 Samoa Pacific Games is good.
Team Fiji hosted a thanksgiving dinner at the Olympic Village yesterday and also celebrated Rugger, Vasiti Solikoviti’s 28th birthday at the same time.
Team Fiji assembled at 5pm that included FASANOC President, Mrs Makarita Lenoa and Secretary General Lorraine Mar.
Chef de Mission, Mr Patrick Bower, our most successful Chef to date, thanked the entire Team including the Men’s team that left the village on Thursday last week for their contributions to the Team’s success.
She thanked the teams and everyone involved in making Team Fiji’s participation at Tokyo 2020, possible and also a success. She individually thanks the management and staff of the different teams. She said, "You have kept the athletes going through the challenges they had to go through. FASNOC was not closest to the athletes, you were and for that I have my many many thanks to give to you.
She reminded everyone that Team Fiji is made up of athletes from the National Federations who have supported you to make sure the best were selected to represent Fiji.
"We are all very proud of you all," she said.
Mrs Lenoa said as a person she’d love to go to each and every sport to support all sports but in her functional role as President and as medals were at stake, she was limited to a few sports only.
Mrs Lenoa made reference to Ben Ryan’s speech in 2016 at the celebrations at the National Stadium, who predicted that Tokyo 2020 would be the time for Fijiana.
Ben said in his speech that, “the Fijiana set the standard for Women in sport in Fiji. He said there’s a new generation coming and 2020 Olympics might be the story of Fijiana”.
The celebrations also included Rusila Nagasau being presented a bouquet of flowers from Banuve Tabakaucoro on behalf of all the athletes. Banuve said the Fijiana was truly a Fijian made team and certainly has paved the way for other athletes to replicate their achievements.
Rusila on accepting the bouquet thanked Team Fiji Management, FASANOC Management, FRU management and everyone who helped them become this success story.
The team celebrated Vasiti’s birthday with cake and non-alcoholic drinks before proceeding to dinner at the Olympic Village.
The Team leaves for Fiji at 7.20pm JST on Tuesday 10 August and will arrive in Nadi at 6.15pm on Wednesday 11 August 2021.