Home away from Fiji

TEAM FIJI athletes have settled into the Commonwealth Games Village in Gold Coast waiting for the start of competition today.

Team Fiji athletes were farewelled by family members and friends at midnight of March 29 at the Olympic House or the FASANOC headquarters in Suva.

Deputy chef de mission Dard Keung Chris Yee led the delegation as chef de mission Patrick Bower had earlier left for Australia.

“Everybody was excited about coming to the Commonwealth Games,” he said as the athletes boarded two buses amid light showers which loved ones and family members braved as they bid their loved ones farewell.

“We are excited about being part of Fiji sports because this is one thing that unifies everyone. Sports speak one language and that is the unification that creates friends, families and nations.

“The excitement comes with the new and young athletes who are going to have a good feel of the games. It is going to be all about Fiji. These are our best athletes and there will be no losers and by going to the games everybody has lifted the games. How well they will perform will take the games to another level, so yes, we are excited and ready for Gold Coast.”

The contingent of 144 — 96 athletes and 48 officials — the biggest from Fiji in any Commonwealth Games flew out of the Nadi International Airport early Easter Friday morning.

They arrived at the village on Friday afternoon after the haul from Nadi to Brisbane Airport then to Gold Coast.

Games Village tour

Games website, www.gc2018.com, reported that the village is among the best in the games’ history.

This will be home to our athletes until after the closing ceremony on April 15.

Before it became the home away from home for 6600 athletes and team officials, media from around the Commonwealth had a tour of the village last week.

Situated on 29 hectares, including seven hectares of open parklands, the village features 18 new buildings; housing 1252 dwellings — that’s 1170 apartments and 82 townhouses.

Broken up in three zones — International, Residential and Operational — the village has been architecturally designed to capture the essence of South-East Queensland and has embraced the city’s colourful cultural heritage, paying special attention to sunlight, shading, natural air flows and water.

Village Mayor and Olympian Sara Carrigan OAM greeted the media in the Residential Zone.

Six iconic Queensland zones (beach, outback, rainforest, reef, sunset and surf) will accommodate athletes and officials and offer services such as laundry, refreshments and TV and computer spaces and four residential pools.

The Games Room featured a number of arcade games, pool tables and game consoles, the athletes are set to enjoy some friendly competition in their down-time.

Next, the Village Gym, which will be managed by qualified strength and conditioning staff is designed with guidance from the Australian Institute of Sport and equipment.

It features free weights, stretching areas, power racks, and weight and cardiovascular machines.

Adjoining the gym is the athlete recovery area which provides athletes the opportunity for plunge baths, including accessible baths, saunas and massage and consults from sports medical personnel.

Expecting to treat 270 patients each day, the Polyclinic will service the medical needs of all residents 24 hours a day. Consisting of Optometry, Podiatry, Radiology and Wheelchair and Prosthetic services and emergency medical care, the Polyclinic will also have a mobile dental van – a Commonwealth Games first.

Meanwhile, a doping control station will also be housed at the village with samples stored for seven years.

Games Village heart

Inspired by the Gold Coast’s Natural Bridge rock formation and waterfall, the Village Heart is a place for athletes and team officials to come together and relax.

Alternatively, they can go for a stroll, run or enjoy all the entertainment on offer in the seven-hectare green space ‘backyard’ featuring walking paths and stages for live entertainment.

In the International Zone, athletes can meet with designated friends and family, enjoy Festival 2018 events, as well as visit retail shops, the Optus phone store, Salon XXI or just hang out at the bar

A self-serve buffet style dinner rounded out the tour with a number of menus available, including ‘Asian’, ‘Halal’ and ‘Western’ and was complemented by a salad and dessert bar.

The Main Dining is expected to serve over 18,000 meals daily and will meet a variety of requirements including dietary, nutritional, recovery, cultural, religious and medical.

Finally, it was bedtime, with media sleeping in the same rooms as the athletes are set to unwind.

All beds boast a distinctive indigenous motif quilt which athletes can take home and accommodates all types of athletes with 516 accessible beds and expandable bed options.

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