Proud Niueans welcome home Lawn bowlers bringing Niue's first gold medal

History has been created by Niue’s lawn bowling team after winning Niue’s  first gold medal at the Pacific Games.

The team returned to the island yesterday to an ecstatic Niuean community at the Hanan international airport.

The team was welcomed first airway side of the airport by the Acting Premier Billy Talagi and members of Cabinet and staff of the Cabinet and Parliamentary Services. 

Outside, the singing and happy chatter increased in volume as the passengers began arriving. 

This level went through the roof when the gold medalists Pauline Rex Blumsky and Christine Ioane walked out followed by the bronze medalists mens triple team of Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, Mark Blumsky and Norman Mitimeti. 

Pauline is Niue’s most successful athlete having won a gold and two silver in two Pacific Games 

“It’s so overwhelming, it still hasn’t sunk in. Think now its starting to sink today but all our hard work and training , our practise , all the family and friends, and all the supporters who have supported us, it’s all paid off now because we got our gold and our silver medals for Niue. It’s a proud moment for me and Mark and all our ladies, team members who have work so hard to get to where we are. We didn’t think we would have it in us but we bloody well did it.” said Pauline Rex Blumsky  

Christine Ioane is an inspiration for those who are new to any sport, that with the right attitude and training you can win a gold. 

Christine only just started playing lawn bowls three years ago, and is now one of Niue’s first gold medalists. 

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet like its just so surreal. I feel like we’re still ,up to now we’ve finally touched down at home, the realization has set in but otherwise its surreal , it doesn’t feel real, it’s just wow.” said Christine Ioane

A proud moment for the Niue Lawn Bowls community who were there in full force to welcome home their team and then hosted them to a welcoming event at the Bowling Club. 

“History in the making. Many many years we’ve tried we all know the South Pacific Games started in 1963 and if you calculate that 56 years before we managed to achieve gold for the first time. To be part of it the President of Niue Lawn Bowls , I’m happy that I played a small part in the success of the team and for Niue as a whole.” said Des Hipa President of Niue Lawn Bowls.

“ Absolutely proud. Our Niue team worked so hard  and to come back with fantastic gold, silver and the boys with their bronze. Simply beautiful. God bless them all , God bless us Niue.” Said Lofa Rex

Story by Esther Pavihi

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