Fijian seven dollar banknote
With Fiji Captain Osea Kolinisau & Coach Ben Ryan
Rugby was a sport that took part in the 1900, 1908, 1920 & 1924 Olympic Games, these were played in the 15 a side format of the game. With France winning the 1900 games, Australia in 1908 (beating Cornwall in the final) & the USA winning back to back tournaments in 1920 & 1924.
After multiple attempts to get rugby reintroduced to the Olympic Games it was finally approved at the 121st IOC session in Copenhagen on 9th October 2009 with a vote of 81 in favour and 8 against. (To be included in the 2016 Rio Olympics in sevens form, using a similar format to that used in the world sevens series). Separate competitions for women and men were held.
Reverse of Fijian seven dollar banknote showing the team
celebrating after being awarded their Olympic Gold Medals
The Fiji men’s side led by Captain Osea Kolinisau (who was the flag bearer for the opening ceremony) & coached by Englishman Ben Ryan won the 2016 tournament in great fashion winning the final in a one sided affair by 43 points to 7.
These were the first Olympic medals won by Fiji and as a thank you to the English coach for the work he did he was accorded the highest order when he was awarded the Companion of the order of Fiji, and given 3 acres of land in Serua.
In 2017 the government of Fiji issued two million 7 dollar banknotes to commemorate Fiji’s first ever Olympic medal & a 50 cent coin
Fijian 50 cent coin