Fiji salutes sevens stars as Olympic heroes return home

Fiji provided one of the stories of the Rio Olympics. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Fiji's Olympic rugby sevens champions have been given an incredible welcome home from Rio, with fans lining the streets to catch a glimpse of their national heroes.

The Fijians arrived home on Sunday, attending the first of two official functions in Nadi celebrating the country's maiden Olympic medal.

The Pacific Islanders were one of the standout stories of the Games as they delivered on their pre-tournament favouritism, culminating in a 43-7 hammering of Great Britain in the final.

Making its debut at the Olympics, rugby sevens left a lasting impression on the world stage with Fiji's story captivating an audience well beyond the game's traditional reach.

A captivated local audience was never going to be an issue in Fiji though, with Ben Ryan's squad sure to be the talk of the Islands for some time to come.

"Wherever people live, they saw that Fijian spirit in action in Rio," Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimaram said at Sunday's function in Nadi.

"And not only were they deeply impressed, it lifted their own spirits too."