Team Fiji Para-athlete Naibili Vatunisolo will lead Team Fiji to the opening ceremony of the 2022 Pacific Mini Games in Saipan, Northern Marianas this Friday as flag bearer.
The 31-year-old Balenabelo, Nadroga native who will be participating in the shotput ambulant event says she is honored to be chosen.
” I promise to lead by example and hopefully in the process win a medal for our country,” she said.
This is not the first time for Vatunisolo to officiate as Fiji’s flag bearer, having been chosen for the same at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Arafura Games in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. She also competed at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa where she won gold in the women’s shot put ambulant category. Vatunisolo will also be a member of Team Fiji to Birmingham, England for the 2022 Commonwealth Games next month having received a qualification slot in her event.
Vatunisolo was nominated by Fiji Triathlon Association (FTA). In nominating Naibili, FTA said in society, women and men with disability are either overlooked or worst discriminated against.
“With the selection of Nabili as Team Fiji’s flagbearer to the Mini Games, we hope that society would cease to stigmatize these demographics and there is more awareness, inclusion, and respect for the athletes’ excellent commitment and efforts and that they are treated no different to those without disabilities.”
Vatunisolo’s impairment classification is F42 which is related to a lower limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power, or impaired range of movement.
Photo: Vatunisolo (far left during Team Fiji’s itatau). Courtesy of: Team Fiji