SPORTS

Analysis: Olympics, Fijiana Cut Through The Impossible In Tokyo 2020

Despite huge opposition from the Japanese public, only 20 per cent of whom have had both coronavirus jabs, the event was organized in spectacular fashion.
10 Aug 2021 11:00
Analysis: Olympics, Fijiana Cut Through The Impossible In Tokyo 2020
Honour for Nagasau..Team Fiji women’s rugby sevens captain, Rusila Nagasau (fourth from left) was invited by IOC president, Thomas Bach (left) to represent the Oceania at the closing ceremony. Nagasau was also Fiji’s flag bearer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games closing ceremony on August 8, 2021. Photo: IOC

With little pomp and ceremony, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ended in a spectacular closing yesterday.

And after a year-long pause, it proved once again that not even the COVID-19 pandemic can douse the Olympic spirit as 206 participating nations conquered and braced the elements right to the end bringing the curtain down on an unusual, unforgettable but triumphant Olympic Games.

Simply put, sports had found a way to bring joy to many who are suffering in these trying times.

Despite huge opposition from the Japanese public, only 20 per cent of whom have had both coronavirus jabs, the event was organized in spectacular fashion.

But most pleasing was the fact that Team Fiji, thanks to rugby, was there from start to finish making a historic firsts in the 125 year history of the Games.

And to cap it off yesterday, Fijiana skipper Rusila Nagasau was invited by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to the main podium (representing Oceania) before he declared the game closed. This was indeed an honour for our small nation.

At the end of two weeks of intense competition and glorious triumph, the Tokyo Games would be event to cherish for our rugby Olympians.

The Team Fiji men’s team defended the gold medal while Nagasau and her Fijiana won the bronze medal for the first time ever.

The Vativa, Wailevu West, Cakaudrove native Nagasau and her teammates along with sprinter Banuve Tabakaucoro and swimmer Cheyenne Rova were part of the closing ceremony while the rest of Team Fiji had already departed Japan after their competitions finished. The ceremonies concluded with the handoff to the 2024 Paris Games, and a handover of the Olympic flag to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in Tokyo.

In the French capital, organisers broadcast an image of a large flag with the Eiffel Tower as a flagpole.

And while Tuwai and his men are looking forward to meeting up with their families on Saturday after being quarantined in Nadi, Nagasau and her Fijiana women will spend the next two weeks in Nadi when they arrive today.

It has been a hard slog for our rugby Olympians and we applaud Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the Government for the financial reward ($33K for men, $11K for women) as they undoubtedly deserved it.

With the next Olympics three years away, other sports need to step up instead of just making up the numbers at the four-yearly event.

Bach, in his closing address, said:

“We could only make the first-ever postponed Olympic Games a reality because of the unified and powerful support of so many.”

Rugby has set the pace in Tokyo, let’s make the difference once again at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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