Cheyenne Leads: Dad

Cheyenne and Taichi Vakasama were the two consistent swimmers throughout the year and earned the two universal spots for Team Fiji.
09 Aug 2021 11:00
Cheyenne Leads: Dad
Cheyenne Rova

Fiji Swimming president, Ben Rova, and father of Tokyo Olympics swimmer Cheyenne Rova is humbled by her daughter’s performance.

Cheyenne was third in heat five of the Women’s 50m freestyle and clocked 27.11s. And despite not qualifying further, it was such a great achievement for her father and Fiji Swimming (FS).

Cheyenne and Taichi Vakasama were the two consistent swimmers throughout the year and earned the two universal spots for Team Fiji.

“It is very humbling to have one of your own children representing your country to a global event like the Olympics,” Rova said.

“Cheyenne is such a very dedicated and mature individual who is not only gifted intellectually, but she is a very self-motivated person.

“I always proudly use her as an example to our club and school swimmers and parents, of someone who has shown dedication and benefitted from the opportunities given to her.

“Through swimming, she has graduated from Minnesota University in the US with a Bachelor of Science Degree and also, a Post Graduate Master’s Degree in Sports Science. Even as a teacher now at Nadi International School, Cheyenne still works hard on her training and attendance stats for this year shows she is one of the most consistent female swimmer for 2021 with FS.

“From her first competitive international event representing Fiji in 2005 as a 9-year old, she has been to so many international competitions and the Olympics was the one that she dearly loved to attend.

“She has now accomplished the dream of participating at the Olympics and l’m just so proud of her achievements and, give all Glory and Honor to God for blessing my family with such a role model.”

Both Taichi and Cheyenne were competing in their first ever Olympic Games and Rova said it was an honour for both of their families, swim club and peers.

There was a selection criteria that was in place that swimmers had to meet and that was followed by the FS selection committee in determining who the two swimmers were under universality place, since no one had made the required Olympic qualifying time.

“We had shortlisted eight swimmers as part of our Olympic training squad and Fiji Swimming wishes to acknowledge Epeli Rabua, Netani Ross, Temafa Yalimaiwai, Hansel McCaig, Moana Wind and Rosemarie Rova for giving their very best and helping to push Taichi and Cheyenne for the two slots.

“With the absence of past Olympians Matelita Buadromo and Meli Malani, this opened the doors for the two swimmers.

“Fiji Swimming is very proud of the swimmers and their achievements. Both are champions in their own right and have dominated their respective events through the years. Both have also been gold medalists at past Pacific Games and going to the Olympics is one of the ultimate high points and dream for any athlete.”

Edited Osea Bola


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