Olympics | SPORTS

How Our Men Lived The Moment

  Over the past three weeks this team has been preparing for the biggest stage of all and to get ready for this we have been in a constant state
16 Aug 2016 10:57
How Our Men Lived The  Moment
Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji


Over the past three weeks this team has been preparing for the biggest stage of all and to get ready for this we have been in a constant state of calm.

Now the HSBC World Sevens Series is hard to win, but the Olympics had a complete different feel all the way through.

First up is the World Sevens Series, which is more theatrical and loose, tries are flowing and after each try we have signature moves to the waiting cameras and fans. Getting these tries is always a challenge, but nothing like it was to get a try in Rio. Defence was brutal and more akin to fifteens test matches, teams knew everything was on the line and they tackled like there was no tomorrow.



From the moment our Fijian team got on Deodora Stadium with a calmness and mission like aura all over them.

These aspects were keys to us being so successful. Being around the edges with a camera gets me close enough to see and sense what it is like. Taking images as Fiji wait to run out of the tunnel, our men were smiling, looking around and even talking to each other to enjoy this moment as they grin at the opposition.

Now firstly they are living the moment and not panicking at all, the second aspect is that it’s not a physical battle they win first up, it is mental and rival teams didn’t know how to take Fiji at all. We were not over pumped, aggressive or yelling, like lot of teams were. We were at ease and ready to deliver.

As we ventured out onto the grass the same attitude was already waiting our team, Ben (Ryan) savored every step of this campaign and Chris (Cracknell) and Naca (Cawanibuka) walked out to the pitch like they were walking to the market. Nowhere in camp Fiji was there a hint of worry and this makes the end destination even more remarkable.

When the start whistle did blow we went about our game plan as Fijians and if you noticed after each try we didn’t get carried away at all. We had about three handshakes and two kisses on the head after those much-needed tries where scored. The other noticeable aspect is faith, this team breaths it, celebrates it and lives for it.



Seeing the scenes of our win and the medals around their necks made us all proud, being true Fijians our players are happy they have done it for us foremost.  Elation did hit them as they made laps around the field, but inside the changing rooms it was a mood of mission accomplished and it was much calmer.

Semi Kunatani sat on his chair for five minutes with his head down in prayer. Big Bill Mata was leaning against the wall, looking very emotional and almost in shock of what he has just been part of. There was no showing off it was more of the same for this wonderful bunch of men from our Islands.



The other part of the players was the medals were just tucked back into their backpacks like they were putting their socks away. You would think with something that hard to get they would never want to take it off.

But soon they can unpack those medals and show the ones they love and make more people happy.

We did have a few tight tussles in this Olympic title, the Argentineans were tough nuggets, as were New Zealand, especially in the rain during the quarter final. But nowhere did we panic, we believed in our process and in the end expressed ourselves and took our beautiful game to the billions watching around the globe.

As our champions enjoyed these last days in Rio, it seems even more fitting that the God statue is towering above them in Rio de Janeiro, amazing that we came all the way from Fiji for this destiny and our boys knew all along it was their calling.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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