Fiji, a tiny Pacific nation, has declared a public holiday to celebrate the receipt of its first ever Olympic medal.
The country’s rugby team won an Olympic gold medal after defeating Great Britain in a crushing 43-7 victory.
As the final whistle sounded Fiji’s rugby sevens captain Osea Kolinisau sank to his knees, struggling to take in what he and his team had achieved.
“I was just thankful to the lord for blessing us and giving us an opportunity to win in a mega-sport arena like the Olympics,” Kolinisau told a press conference.
“I never dreamed of being an Olympian, let alone being a medalist, let alone being a gold medalist. So I was just thankful to up above for the journey God has brought me on.”
As wild celebrations erupted in the homeland following the win, Fiji Airways, the national carrier, announced it will only make the Fiji Gold beer available for consumption in celebration of the achievement.
In line with the jubilation, the prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, also declared August 22 a national holiday to mark the historic event.
Fiji Times reported that “patients used their crutches or wheelchairs to get to the television to ensure they do not miss history in the making.”
The prime minister while thanking the team said: “We can showcase little country like us who don’t have the financial backing like the other countries have, but we managed to beat them.”
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be Fijian right now wherever you are in the world, especially those back home,” he added.
Fiji is a Pacific Island with a population of 900,000.