Fiji Celebrates First Olympic Medal, and It Is Gold

12 August, 2016

This is What's Trending Today.

The tiny South Pacific island nation of Fiji won its first Olympic medal. And it is gold.

Fiji has a population of about 900,000.

The Fijian team won the gold medal in the new Olympic sport of rugby sevens in Rio de Janeiro.

Fiji's rugby team was the pre-Olympic favorite. The team won the last two world rugby sevens competitions. Fiji finished ahead of larger countries like South Africa, Australia and Argentina.

The game was played at 10 a.m. Friday in Fiji and most businesses closed to allow their employees to watch the match.

The national rugby stadium in Suva was filled with 15,000 people who watched the match on a large screen.

Vatemo Ravouvou, Viliame Mata, and Semi Kunatani, of Fiji, pose with fans after winning the gold medal match against Britain in the mens rugby sevens at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.

When the final second ticked off the clock in the 43-7 victory over Great Britain, people danced in the street.

Fiji's prime minister announced a public holiday for August 22. That is when the team will return from Rio.

One Fijian man posted a video to YouTube of himself and his young son singing the national anthem. They joined in with the rugby players on television.

A journalist noted that Fiji is the fifth country with a population under 1 million to win a gold medal.

The Fijian players like captain Osea Kolinisau and Leone Nakarawa proved too strong for Great Britain. Nakarawa is over 2 meters tall and weighs about 122 kilograms. Fiji was ahead 29-0 at halftime.

The coach of the Fijian team is Ben Ryan. Ryan is English, but many people now want to make him an honorary Fijian citizen.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

captain – n. an athlete who is chosen to be the leader of a team

medal – n. a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with designs and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement