The global Rugby family are celebrating the announcement that Rugby Sevens will be included at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
An overwhelming vote in favour of inclusion by the International Olympic Committee members at the 121st Session in Copenhagen - Rugby Sevens received 81 'yes' votes to only eight 'no' votes - means that the world's top men's and women's Rugby players will have the opportunity to compete for an Olympic Gold medal, the pinnacle of sporting achievement.
Bernard Lapasset, President of the International Rugby Board, said: "This is a historic moment for our sport and for the global Rugby community, who were united in support of our campaign."
"We are excited and honoured to be joining the Olympic Games and I would like to thank the IOC members for believing in our Olympic vision and our values and recognising that Rugby Sevens is a perfect fit for the Olympic Games."
"The Olympic Games will be the pinnacle of the sport for all our athletes and the Rugby family. The best men's and women's players in the world are excited to be able to showcase their talent on the world's greatest sporting stage."
"We are now looking forward to working in partnership with the IOC to develop and implement a Rugby Sevens tournament in Rio that will reach out to new audiences and inspire a new generation of sports fans around the world," added Lapasset.
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Player Quotes of Support
“More than anything, Sevens embodies the Olympic ideals of camaraderie, fair play and respect on and off the field of play.” – Shane Williams, Wales
“You play sport at the highest level to challenge yourself to be the best that you can possibly be and to compete with the best from all over the world, and what better stage to do that on than at the Olympics?” – Sue Day, England
“Going to the Commonwealth Games was amazing and to have the chance to go to the Olympics would be right up there with anything you could possibly dream of doing in sport.” – Tamati Ellison, New Zealand
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