Olympics | SPORTS

Vakurunabili Pays Tribute To Late Dad – Ratu Luke

“After my father passed away last year and also the birth of my son and wedding to the love of my life, I knew I had a reason to play.
22 Aug 2021 16:24
Vakurunabili Pays Tribute To Late Dad – Ratu Luke
Team Fiji men’s 7s rep Josua Vakurunabili on the attack against Wales at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan. Photo: World Rugby

A few weeks before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, Fiji 7s team forward, Josua Vakurunabili, wished his father, the late Tui Conua Ratu Luke Vidovi, would call him and encourage him before their first match.

After the 2016 Rio Olympics vic­tory, Vakurunabili made it his goal to secure a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and his father promised to pave the way for him in and off the field but in July last year he passed away leaving Vakurunabili alone on his quest to make the final cut to the Olympics.

However, the passing of his mentor and father made Vakurunabili regain his strength and promised not only to make it to the Olympics but defend the gold medal for his late father.

An emotional Olympian ar­rived at his village in Vatukarasa with his gold medal not only to be greeted by his family but his village and the district of Conua.

“Walking through the village, I was emotional and only hoped that my father was here, to shake my hand and hug me because I was able to accomplish what he wanted me to achieve,” said Vakurunabili.

“He was there in every step of the way when I made my debut in 2016 and kept me on the right track to where I have reached and I dedicate this medal to him for being my men­tor, coach and father.

Last month marked one year since the passing of the late Tui Conua and a year later his son brought home a gold medal.

“After my father passed away last year and also the birth of my son and wedding to the love of my life, I knew I had a reason to play. Someone was waiting for me back at home to share my spoils with but never will I forget my father who de­served this medal,” he said.



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