Fiji celebrates historic Olympics gold by rugby sevens side

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Fijians cheer as their rugby sevens side take a victory parade after winning gold at the Rio Olympics, bringing home their country’s first Games medal in history

Fiji celebrates historic Olympics gold by rugby sevens side

SHOWS:

SUVA, FIJI (AUGUST 22, 2016) (TVNZ – Broadcasters: NO ACCESS NEW ZEALAND Digital: NO ACCESS NEW ZEALAND INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY NEW ZEALAND OR AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS)

1. FIJI RUGBY SEVENS TEAM STANDING ON TRUCK

2. FANS WAVING FLAGS

3. FANS FOLLOWING TEAM ON TRUCK

4. FANS WAITING ON PARADE ROUTE

5. TEAM ON TRUCK DRIVING PAST FANS

6. MARCHING BAND AT STADIUM

7. FANS WAVING FLAGS

8. RUGBY SEVENS COACH, BEN RYAN WAVING AT CROWD

9. RYAN RECEIVING HIS HONORARY COMPANION OF FIJI MEDAL

10. RYAN WAVING AT CROWD

11. RUGBY SEVENS CAPTAIN, OSEA KOLINISAU RECEIVING, OFFICER OF THE ORDER OF FIJI MEDAL

12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIJI RUGBY SEVENS CAPTAIN, OSEA KOLINISAU SAYING:

“It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be given this opportunity, to stand in your midst and offer a few words of gratitude and thanks in this wonderful joyous day.”

13. FANS CHEERING AND SAYING, “Go Fiji Go”

14. VARIOUS OF FANS WAVING AT CROWD IN STADIUM

STORY: Gold medal-winning members of the Fijian Olympic rugby sevens team were honoured with a parade in the nations capital, Suva on Monday (August 22) as thousands cheered and waved flags for their new national heroes.

Fiji triumphed with a historic gold at the Rio Olympics, earning the country its first ever medal at an Olympic Games and marking the Pacific islanders as the first Olympic men’s sevens champions.

The team were driven through the city past adoring fans into the ANZ Stadium where coach Ben Ryan was awarded the Honorary Companion of Fiji Medal and the team received the Officer of the Order of Fiji medal.

“It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be given this opportunity, to stand in your midst and offer a few words of gratitude and thanks in this wonderful joyous day,” said Captain Osea Kolinisau, addressing the crowd.

The breathtaking win by the Fijians against Great Britain in the final of the inaugural tournament, which saw them score a 43-7 victory, completes a long and challenging three years for the team and head coach Ben Ryan.

Ryan arrived in September 2013 by Fiji to salvage a team that had struggled with consistency since the introduction of the world sevens series in 1999.

With a population of around 900,000, the players have become household names. Ryan, who is also a popular figure in Fiji, has had babies named in his honour and pop songs written about him in the past.

But the famous coach is out of contract after the Olympics and says he will take a break before deciding on his next challenge.

In the last three years the face of the game has changed for Fiji – the players are now centrally contracted, while a crowd-funded national training centre has been built in Pacific Harbour, about an hour southwest of the capital Suva.

Tags : side, Sevens, rugby, gold, olympics, historic, celebrates, Fiji

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