Kalione Nasoko’s journey to winning gold at the Olympic Games has been described as a miracle by the National Strength and Conditioning Coach at Fiji Rugby, Naca Cawanibuka.
Since 2019, Nasoko has been struggling with serious injuries, rehabilitation after surgery and there was even a one-time incident where he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol.
He even lost the opportunity to play for Scottish club, Edinburgh when he failed medical tests.
The former captain of the Fiji men's national 7s team had to undergo an ACL reconstruction where the torn ligament is removed and replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee.
Cawanibuka says they were lucky because the FRU's Medical Coordinator William Koong facilitated Nasoko’s surgery in Australia.
He says at one point after that surgery, Nasoko weighed 120kg.
Cawanibuka adds he remembers sitting down with Nasoko two years ago and asking him if he wanted to play in the Olympics.
He says Nasoko had to do much more than the other players because he had to accelerate his healing.
Cawanibuka says that is why they let Nasoko loose on the field in the last four minutes in the gold medal match.
He adds the journey ended when Nasoko was emotional and on his knees after the final whistle.
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