‘Bronze Medal My Perfect Father’s Day Gift’

Her father said her daughter had lifted the name of their village and family after the Olympic success.
31 Aug 2021 11:00
‘Bronze Medal My Perfect Father’s Day Gift’
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games bronze medallist, Viniana Riwai, at her home in Nasekula, Labasa on August 30, 2021. Photo: Sampras Anand

Not every father has the opportunity to call their daughter an Olympic bronze medallist, but this rang true for Maika Riwai.

And he could not be more proud to host her daughter, Viniana Riwai, with her bronze medal in Nasekula, Labasa yesterday.

Viniana who also represented Fiji in football was welcomed by family at her village after completing mandatory quarantine in Labasa.

Viniana had spent almost two years away from home.

Her father said her daughter had lifted the name of their village and family after the Olympic success.

“This was the perfect father’s day gift for me as I would spend this year’s father day with her,” the 54-year-old.

He said her daughter’s passion for the sport was her driving factor as it constantly reminded her about her calling for the game she loves, rugby.

Viniana said the success was attributed to the constant prayers and sacrifices made by her family.

“I was staying with the Waqanidrola family in Koronivia, Nausori and was not able to regularly visit my family because of rugby and personal commitments,” she said.

She indicated it was disappointing to have missed the winning conversion against New Zealand in the gold medal semi-final, where they lost 22-17.

“My dad was my pillar of strength because he always encouraged me to work hard and have trust in the lord, for he will guide the way for greater things,” Viniana said.

The 30-year-old said despite not securing an overseas contract, she was aiming to play again and help the team to win their first tournament on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series, when competition resumes.

Meanwhile, Tui Labasa, Ratu Jone Qomate, in his welcoming speech, said the victory was a symbol of excellence for the village and this was seen as an inspiration for others.

Moreover, cousin brother, Anasa Molisodrau reiterated similar sentiments and stated the victory made every individual in the village proud of her.

The Olympic medal was a sign of the years of hard work, patience and prayers being finally answered.

“I hope more young girls will follow suit and more medals will be brought back to our village in the future,” he added.

Edited by Sereana Salalo


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