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Someday I’ll Tell My Kid I Was There, Says Oceania’s Brazilian Coordinator

Someday I’ll Tell My Kid I Was There, Says Oceania’s Brazilian Coordinator
Rio Olympic Organising Committee’s NOC Relations co-ordinator for Ocenia Virginia Figueredo (middle) is flanked by PNG chef de mission Emma Waiwai (left) and Robert Graham of Cook Islands, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: ONOC.
August 20
11:39 2016


“Someday I will tell my kid I was there,” says Virginia Figueredo the main contact person for Oceania at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I saw it happening, it was the first gold, first Olympic medal for Fiji and I know it was celebrated by all Oceania because we were part of the family, I felt I was like part of it as well.”

Virginia is the Rio Olympic Oganising Committee’s NOC Relations coordinator for Oceania. The registrations and accreditation for teams and media went through her office.

She has been the go to person for Oceania leading up to the Olympics and hopes that one day she’ll return and reside in Oceania after giving birth in November.

“It’s been an amazing journey getting to know many faces as Robert (Graham) from the Cook Islands said that we only see in the map as little dots but they are full of different cultures and different personalities and especially for us here in Brazil its so far away.

“We always think of these excotic lands and we don’t know much about it so I think it’s been a pleasure for us and for the volunteers to amazingly to have this experience and it was good of us to show a bit of our culture and we have some similarities, we are family orientated like Bazilians so its been a pleasure to welcome you all in my country.”

Her contact with Oceania started when she lived in Australia for seven years between 2004 and 2011.

“In Australia I’m very close to that side of the world so I got to travel to Fiji and to hear about all this other nations as well.

“I use to work as a travel agent selling Asia Pacific and after that I came back to Brazil and with the soccer World Cup and the Olympics the major events so the day I saw that position available for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for relations with Oceania I thought it’d be pretty cool and I know a little bit about Oceania and I was totally wrong.

“I know I knew a bit about Australia and maybe a little about New Zealand but had no idea of the islands and its funny now when people come and talk to me and ask about how’s Vanuatu people and how is the food in these other places its just good to share that knowledge that I didn’t have years ago, I think its been fantastic.

“Well I have this project I have starting in November when the baby’s born so for a while I just want to dedicate myself to fully raise the baby and hopefully after that I still want to get involved with major events.

“I’m also planning leaving overseas again maybe that side of the world in Oceania but we’ll see what happens. Certainly an experience I will keep in my heart for ever.

“I hope I can do some island hoping in the Pacific in the future.

“Hoping I can go and visit the different islands, I only got to see Vanuatu and Fiji. I know its expensive but hopefully one day I’ll make it there and show to my family, my husband, my kid and they also part of this and now when they hear about Tuvalu, Solomons they know what I’m talking about. “

And about Fiji’s gold medal win in rugby 7s, Virginia had this to say.

“When I saw like the boys playing and they were playing amazingly, it was a good feeling to be there with all the Oceania fans and look behind me and see Cathy (Wong) and Lorraine (Mar) the secretary general like in tears its remarkable certainly they made history and made the news all over the world.

“Someday I’ll tell my kid I was there,” she added.

 Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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