‘It’s history in the making,’ says Fiji Prime Minister following rugby sevens victory at Rio Olympics
The Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, watched his countrymen win Rugby Sevens gold on Thursday night with the fans in stand – imagine Theresa May doing that – and was delighted that his nation had claimed their first Olympic medal.
Fiji hammered Great Britain 43-7 and Bainimarama was ecstatic and predicted a national party back home. “It’s history in the making,” the prime minister said. “Our first gold medal in the Olympics and we are all very proud to be Fijians right now. Back home they will all be celebrating. They have been celebrating already.
“Our productivity has been nil in the last couple of days, hopefully now our GDP will go up in the next couple of weeks. Everything stops back home [when Fiji play]. Hopefully this win will put Fiji on the map. We will be a little tiny dot – but hopefully people will start looking for that dot.”
This was Rugby 7s Olympic debut and Bainimarama was understandably delighted that it had been given the green light. “I want to thank the Olympic committee for including 7s in the Games. We hope the brand of rugby we played has justified its inclusion.
“Also it props up little, tiny nations like us. We don’t have the money and the financial support that Great Britain has – but we managed to beat them.”
The prime minister, 62, also explained what gold would mean to a rugby-mad nation such as Fiji that has been through some tough times. “We had Winston, the second biggest hurricane to hit Fiji, come through in February and rugby has always lifted the spirit and brought us together. Right now everyone is together to celebrate the win.”
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