Fiji took home a gold medal in rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, and fans in their home country technically should not have taken to the streets to celebrate. Many of them didn’t care.
Fijians were seen cheering, dancing and waving their nation’s flag in the streets on Wednesday night after their rugby sevens team won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal. Fiji currently has a curfew in place from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
— Filipe Naikaso (@Naikasof) July 28, 2021
Following his team’s 27-12 win over New Zealand in the final, Fiji coach Gareth Baber spoke about how difficult it was to win the gold medal again given the circumstances. Baber said the team has been “locked down” for five months while preparing for Olympic competition.
“They tried to break out a few times as well. It’s been a really strange year since things were postponed,” Baber said, according to CNN. “We were locked down in Fiji, then we went to Australia, where we quarantined for a period of time.”
Baber said the Fiji national team had special “containment zones” in Fiji due to the pandemic. They built a gym in the garage of a hostel and spent roughly three months there. Athletes and coaches had been away from their families for a total of five months. The commitment led to a great moment for the team after Wednesday’s match.