Olympic rugby medal wins saluted on Fiji $7 notes
- Published: Apr 4, 2022, 8 AM
The sport of rugby is more than a diversion in Fiji. It is thought of so seriously that in 2017, when Fiji’s men won a gold medal in the Rio Olympic Games, it was the impetus for creating a new $7 bank note denomination.
On the heels of the nation winning two medals in Rugby 7s at last year’s Tokyo games, a second gold medal for the men and a bronze medal for the women, the denomination is being used again. A new commemorative note was issued into circulation through the Reserve Bank of Fiji and commercial banks on March 28.
The bank note is primarily brown on the face and yellow on the back, representing the bronze and gold medal wins in Tokyo.
The face features the Fijiana Rugby 7s bronze medal-winning women’s team in a huddle, along with the denomination, horizontal serial numbering, microtext, a 2-millimeter metallic thread inscribed RUGBY 7, a watermark of team member Reapi Ulunisau with a rugby ball, a see-through rugby ball, and a bronze medallion. It also has fluorescent features in some text and the thread.
The back portrays the men’s gold medal team singing following their medal ceremony. It also shows coach Gareth Baber deep in thought, team captain Jerry Tuwai, and a gold medallion. There is fluorescence in some text, a lanyard, and the players wearing gold medals.
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said as he unveiled the note, “Today I am extremely proud to show our Olympic heroes just how much pride their grateful nation takes in their win. They will be immortalized on our national currency.”
Ariff Ali, Reserve Bank governor and chairman of the board, said, “There were several compelling reasons behind the decision to commission a special commemorative issue, as alluded by the Prime Minister. Significantly, both teams and officials had to endure extremely difficult circumstances leading up to the games, lockdowns, quarantine and having to be away from loved ones for months on end. While the nation has become accustomed to the heroics of our men’s 7s team who won back to back gold medals, the ladies exceeded expectations throughout the tournament and captivated attention with their gutsy performances. Their bronze medal win ultimately made the Olympics Games our most successful ever. The backdrop to the achievements at the Tokyo Olympics was the COVID-19 induced suffering back at home and around the world. The two Fijian teams reminded us all of the infinite possibilities of human endeavor and its ability to transcend boundaries, unite and provide profound hope and inspiration.”
The notes are printed by Oberthur Fiduciaire. They are coated with Bioguard Varnish that the manufacturer says adds antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral properties to the surface, and that the bank says, have been tested to provide active protection against Coronavirus OC43 and SARS Cov-2.
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