Rugby is a popular Olympic sport played by both men and women. Rugby sevens is included as a game in the summer Olympics and was first played in 2016. Sevens is a shortened and fast-paced game played by seven side teams. The New Zealand rugby Olympics also includes the rugby sevens that have represented the country in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.
New Zealand has been represented in the Olympics by the New Zealand national rugby team known as the All Blacks Sevens. The team has been playing since 1973 in the international seven aside tournament. The All Blacks Seven have won a total of 13 titles over 22 since 1999.
The All Blacks Seven have won rugby world cups three times, in 2001, 2013, and 2018. In addition, they have also won four common gold medals enlisting them among the best rugby players in the world.
The All Blacks Seven won their first-ever Olympic gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, making them the current Olympic record holders. Read on to find out five facts about the New Zealand rugby Olympics.
#1. The Women’s Team Claimed the First-Ever Gold Medal for New Zealand
The New Zealand women’s rugby team won their first-ever rugby gold medal for their country in the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics. They won the gold after beating France 26-12, bringing a win in the 2020 New Zealand rugby Olympics.
In the first five games, the french remained undefeated, but they could not match the strength of the Black Ferns, the New Zealand women’s rugby team. Within the first minute of the game, Michaela Blyde had already scored for the black ferns.
By halftime, New Zealand had already scored 19-5, and by the end of the game, they were leading, making them Olympic champions.
In the 2016 Rio Olympics, the women’s team won second place, claiming the silver medal after losing to Australia. It was evident in the game that Australians dominated and ended up winning 24-5. The tables were reversed in 2020 when New Zealand’s women’s rugby team took the gold medal.
#2. New Zealand Won Silver Two Consecutive Times
In 2016 summer Olympics was the debut of rugby sevens in the summer Olympics. The women’s team won a silver medal after losing to Australia 24-17. The score lines, however, suggest a tight encounter despite Australia controlling most of the match.
The men’s team won the silver title in the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics after losing to Fiji 27-12. Hence Fiji won their second consecutive gold in the Olympics.
It is expected that the All blacks will get more gold and silver titles in the next Olympics. Their performance has been amazing all through, they have been named the rugby sevens player of the year five times. The occasions include Tim Mikkelson (2013), Tomasi Cama (2012), DJ Forbes (2008) and Afeleke Pelenise (2007).
#3. The Team Performs the Haka Dance After a Win
The haka is a traditional Mori dance that is performed by a group. The ceremonial dance involves vigorous movements, including moving the feet rhythmically, stamping the feet, and shouting and chanting.
Haka was initially used by warriors during preparation for battle but has eventually been included in other social functions, including the welcoming of guests, celebrating occasions and achievements, and also during funerals.
After winning the gold medal, the women’s team performed the Haka as part of the celebration. The men’s team also went out with the ceremonial Haka after taking the fifth position in the 2016 Olympics.
The New Zealand team Haka was known as the “Ko Uhia Mai” which also meant, let it be known. It was an emotional moment for the team to celebrate their success and incorporate traditional cultural practices.
#4. Ruby Tui Interview Went Viral After the Tokyo Olympic
Ruby Tui gave an interview after the Tokyo Olympics, which ended up going viral and being termed the best interview ever.
Ruby Tui is among the best rugby players to play for the New Zealand team. She was discovered in the Go4gold campaign and has been a regular fixture for the black ferns sevens. Tui has been playing in the Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 2016 Rio summer Olympics and gold in the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics.
During the interview, Tui spoke candidly about the game saying that even though it looked easy to watch others play it was the toughest game ever. He also gave credit to the German team mentioning their toughness.
# 5. The New Zealand Men’s Team Is Set to Compete in the Next Olympics
The men’s team will compete for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics on an international stage in Singapore. They are excited about this and cannot wait to compete after borders were opened following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The men’s team has won more world series and cannot wait to show their strength in the upcoming summer Olympics. They have been preparing by hitting the gym and performing back exercises to strengthen their backs. Back exercises are especially important to reduce risks of injury and also maximize power transfer during contact. So they train diligently, hitting their gyms and carrying their gym backpacks.
The team is currently playing in domestic and internal hit-outs, and even though they are excited about that, they believe that nothing beats playing in an international competition with the hope of becoming Olympic record holders.
It is evident that the New Zealand rugby team, both men and women, have some of the best rugby players because of their wins in the 2016 and 2020 summer Olympics. The team has also won many games, including 3 world cups and 22 titles in the international seven aside.
Playing in the Olympics indicates that a team is at the pinnacle of its sporting career and the team and players have the opportunity to be the Olympic record holders. We look forward to seeing how the men’s and the women’s teams will perform in the coming summer Olympics as they represent in the Newzealand rugby Olympics.
We wish them all the best as they carry their gym backpacks as they hit the gym to practice for the next Olympics. We hope that both the men’s and women’s teams will win gold.