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Smell Of Likely First Olympic Medal Makes Games Special

The eagerly awaited 2016 Rio Olympic Games opens on Saturday at 11am (Fijian time). The ceremonial opening is tipped to be a spectacular show. This Olympics is special because it
04 Aug 2016 10:43
Smell Of Likely First Olympic Medal Makes Games Special
The eagerly awaited 2016 Rio Olympic Games opens on Saturday at 11am (Fijian time). The ceremonial opening is tipped to be a spectacular show.

This Olympics is special because it will be the first time in Olympic history that a South American country is hosting the Games.

The  opening and closing ceremonies will be held in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium, which boasts the world record for most fans ever to attend a soccer game. Although its current capacity is around 78,000, the stadium squeezed in at least 173,000 fans during the 1950 World Cup final. Maracanã hosted the World Cup final again in 2014.

Around 10,500 athletes from 206 countries are expected to take part in 17 days of the Olympiad, competing across 306 events.

Fifty four Fijian athletes and 36 officials  in 10 sports are among them. Reports from our Fiji Sun team there show the Fijian athletes are hyped up and ready to compete.

Here, the main focus is on our men’s and women’s sevens rugby teams, because they have a realistic chance of winning a medal, even a gold for the men.

Just a word of caution.

There is a lot of expectation that Ben Ryan’s men will bring home the gold.

The Olympics cannot be compared to the sevens circuits that the men are used to.

This is a much bigger stage and the pressure there will be unprecedented.

Our reps will have to re-adjust quickly so that they can focus on what they do best.

Their fans around the world know that the Fijians lost some very close encounters, the ones we all expected them to win in the world series.

While they got there in the end and won the series on points aggregate, their inconsistent performance could be their worst enemy.

However, they have spent some time in Chile, away from the Fijian public enjoying some peace and quiet and focusing on their game.

World series results and reputation do not count in Rio. This will be on a much higher level and it would be an absolute test of skill and physical and mental endurance.

Only the fittest will survive but the smartest will take home the gold.

We should not focus only on the results but how they performed.

As long as they do their very best, that should be good enough for all of us.

Our pride for our team and for Fiji does not hinge on the results of any particular contest, but rather on the expectation that our athletes will conduct themselves with dignity on and off the field, knowing that for a few fleeting moments during the opening ceremony and their events, millions upon millions of people will be watching them – not just as individuals – but as representatives of Fiji.

Here at home, of course, we’ll all be cheering our athletes on.

In Rio, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is there to support our athletes. He will be a morale booster.

Some physical fitness experts say our rugby reps’ sand hill training would be the determining factor in their bid for an Olympic medal.

Can Fiji win the Olympic gold medal?

Well, nothing is impossible and with self belief, they can do it.

Ryan has played his part and is confident that our boys will bring gold to Fiji.

We wish all our athletes the best.

The smell of our likely first Olympic medal makes this Games very special for all Fijians.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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