Great achievement

Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber. Picture: FT FILE

As successful national coach Gareth Baber contemplates his future on his way to Europe, we are left to savour a great victory at the pinnacle of world sporting events.

The Los Angeles Times reported that while in another sign of the reshaped TV landscape, ratings for NBC’s telecasts of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were down significantly from 2016, however, the event is still among the most-watched TV programming of the year.

The first night of competition on Saturday, it reported, averaged 15.9 million viewers, down 32 per cent from the comparable night of the Rio Summer Games in 2016. NBC’s audience rose to 20 million viewers on Sunday, down 36 per cent compared with five years ago.

Monday’s competition scored 16.8 million viewers, off 46 per cent from the 31.5 million who watched on the comparable night in 2016.

It reported the 2021 figures include the average number of people watching on streaming platforms, which hit a record on Monday, for an Olympics, with 746,000 viewers.

The numbers are however still significant for us as a small nation.

It gives us a feel of the number of eye-balls focused on our team and that great gold medal win.

Without a doubt, this is marketing we can never shrug aside.

It places emphasis on the achievement of our national 7s team, and raises that victory to the highest pedestal.

Yesterday, you could feel a sense of joy and appreciation around the country.

You could feel it in the air.

Long stressed out by the rising number of COVID-19 cases, yesterday was like a jolt of happiness. There was a sense of purpose. People were happy.

This is why we continue to say that 7s rugby is like glue that binds us all together.

It is like a bridge that unites people irrespective of ethnicity, gender, age and religion. It cuts right through every imaginary demarcation line, and unites a nation.

The abbreviated version of the sport is like a platform that draws attention, motivates and inspires Fijians.

Again we say thank you for the memories. We say thank you for bringing joy to an expectant nation. And we say thank you for the sacrifices. You made everyone’s day, and night!

Times are very different now with the pandemic around. However, there can be no doubts about how appreciative Fijians are.

We may be a little dot on the world map, but we sure are Olympic Games champions. We are the best in the business! What a final. What a show! What a feeling!

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