Samoa’s weightlifting heroine, Ele Opeloge, is coming home tonight.
Ele Opeloge-Toa, her husband Toa Vai and their children will be flying home tonight on the Virgin Samoa flight arriving at 9:30.
President and head Coach of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Tuaopepe Asiata Wallwork and the weightlifting fraternity are excited and will be at the airport.
“This is the day that we have all been waiting for because a lot has been said and the person who this moment belongs to will finally be here,” he said.
“We will be hiring buses for the weightlifting team to go in as well as her family.
“The media is also invited to come along and hopefully someone from the government will be able to make it tonight to honor the arrival of Ele Opeloge. If the Minister of Sports or the Prime Minister will be able to make it, that would be good.”
Tuaopepe said the team will also be taking the medal to put on Ele when she arrives.
“Because this is the first time Ele will be seeing the medal so I will be putting the medal on her unofficially to let her see the fruit of her hard work and the many years of hard training,” he said.
“I know she is so eager to see the medal so I want to make sure she sees it.”
Tuaopepe said the official presentation could happen in the next two weeks.
“The official presentation hasn’t been confirmed yet because at the moment we have just started discussing with the President of S.A.S.N.O.C.
Hopefully next week or the week after when we have a firm programme, we will inform the govt. and how they can be involved in this.
“But for the time being she is coming and it’s a good feeling.”
So how long is Ele coming for?
“She is coming back with her family this year and next year she will start preparing for the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“They are not coming here for good, however, she needs to be here for training.
At the moment their papers are not through yet so I told her that it’s better for her and her family to move here for the meantime while it’s still being processed.
“She can focus on her training because she can’t do it in New Zealand and hopefully she will be back by the Oceania Championships.”