Rio 2016

Fiji Erupted in Celebration After They Won Their First Olympic Medal

Fiji Rugby Celebration
FEROZ KHALIL/AFP/Getty Images

Fiji, a team that has been called the Harlem Globetrotters of rugby, absolutely destroyed Great Britain in the gold medal match for men's rugby sevens on Thursday, taking home a 43-7 win. It was the first-ever Olympic medal for Fiji, a country with a population of just over 900,000.  

The country reacted appropriately. Everything ground to a halt and fans took to the streets, waving flags and honking car horns. It was an incredible showing of support and excitement.

Fiji first competed in the Olympics in 1956, making this celebration long-awaited. It's the first Olympics to have rugby since 1924, marking the first time that the rugby-crazed country had the opportunity to take a medal in the sport.

 "Rugby is the only thing that stops this nation, it’s our religion," Feini Lakai, an office manager in the capital city of Suva, told The Guardian"It is what brings us together, we play with our hearts."

Take a look below at some of the wonderful images coming out of Fiji as the nation celebrated their Olympic victory.

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.