Fiji Airways, the flag-carrier airline of Fiji, hit the USA Swimming Jr. Pan Pacs team with a rousing sendoff late Friday night when they departed for Fiji to race at the 2018 Jr. Pan Pac Championships.
The almost-11 hour flight (which crosses the international dateline, so the swimmers actually arrived in Fiji on Sunday) will bring the team a day closer to the start of competition at the meet, which runs from August 23rd to 26th.
The best airline experience I’ve ever had! @FijiAirways for the win!
Not only was the staff friendly and kind, look how wonderfully they decorated the counter upon our arrival for check-in!
— Mitch Dalton (@MitchDaltonNJT) August 18, 2018
When the team arrived ahead of their departure from Los Angeles International Airport, the dais at check-in was adorned with a mashup of America and Fiji, with USA swimming caps adorned with tropical flowers common in Fiji.
The meet will be hosted at the Damodar Aquatic Center, which previously hosted the 11th Oceania Swimming Championships. Technically co-hosted by Fiji Swimming and USA Swimming, the meet will feature athletes from the 4 Pan Pac charter nations (Australia, USA, Japan, and Canada) along with a handful of other pacific-rim countries, like Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, China, and a large contingent of local Fijians.
There are no open water events at this year’s Jr. Pan Pacs, as the charter nations decided to let the FINA Jr. World Open Water Championships absorb that need in the calendar.