Olympics | SPORTS

Stay Strong For Me Mum

  The majority of Team Fiji’s athletes were fortunate to have their families beside them when they were named to represent the country at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games next
20 Jul 2016 13:12
Stay Strong For Me Mum
Fijian Weight lifter Apolonia Vaivai is ready for Rio. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

 

The majority of Team Fiji’s athletes were fortunate to have their families beside them when they were named to represent the country at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games next month.

But it was a different story for weightlifter Apolonia Vaivai.

She had to call her mother in Wiwi Village,  Taveuni, to tell her the good news.

The 25-year old has been sacrificing family time for almost a year now as she focuses on her dream to take be part in the four-yearly global showpiece. She will compete in the 65kg category.

“It’s always hard to communicate with my family in Wiwi because of the network problems,”Vaivai said.

“The only time I talk to them is when they call me and in that way I know the network connection is okay.

“But we don’t talk often and that just makes me miss them every day.

“I’m sacrificing my family time as I focus on getting the positive results from Rio, I know it’s really hard but I have to do it.

“When the official results came and my name was on that list, I called my family and my mother was crying over the phone.

“I told mum and my family they need to stay strong for me and I will be strong representing my country.”

Vaivai acknowledges her weight-lifting family for their support.

“I want to thank my weight-lifting family for being so supportive and for taking care of me all this time,” she said.

The Tavuki, Taveuni native has also given up her favourite’s kava and alcohol as she wants to put a 100 per cent focus to Rio.

“Training is not easy, it’s tough and there’s a lot of temptation like not sleeping at the right time so I’m giving up drinking kava and alcohol. I love my kava and it’s hard to leave them out but now I just have to watch movies or listen to music every afternoon after training so that I can forget the temptation from outside. I can enjoy my kava after Rio.”

Vaivai was a lone Fijian medal winner in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she won a bronze medal in the women’s 75kg and strongly believes anything is possible in Rio if the heart is determined.

“I’m happy that I’m going, looking forward to the experience on how Olympic is.

She had a one week training at the Oceania Weight-lifting Institute in Noumea last week and set her new personal best 95kg in the snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk.

Edited by Osea Bola.

 



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