Niall Williams has shared the raw and emotional moment of realisation her Tokyo dreams were over with the Black Ferns Sevens star now sidelined with a neck injury.
The Black Ferns Sevens announced this afternoon Williams has been ruled out of the Oceania Sevens Tournament and Olympic selection due to a neck injury.
Moments later, Williams posted on social media a recording of herself crying about the news along with an emotional statement.
“I shared this moment of me on the way to tell my second family that my Olympic dream is over and the farewell haka we received,” she said.
“Know that this is the reality that many athletes have to go through on the daily - injuries, own high expectations, other people’s expectations, highs, lows, wins, losses, selection, non-selection, and criticism from many - this game means more to us than you may think.
“Remember that and always be kind we’re all human beings at the end of the day.”
Williams said she’ll be rooting for the team in Tokyo while recovering.
“I chose to get onboard a waka five years ago and be part of an amazing journey that is unique to only my sisters and management. We choose to paddle through all the storms, and through all the sunshine together and when anyone fell off, there were many hands always ready to pull you back onboard whilst the rest kept on paddling.
“Our destination - Tokyo 2021. Our journey - be world dominant by enhancing mana in the black jersey and continue our legacy.
“Although I may physically not be on the waka anymore, I hope that each of my sisters carries a little part of me with them as they continue the final parts of this journey.”
1 NEWS has contacted Black Ferns Sevens management for comment on Williams’ injury, with the 33-year-old saying she’s “grateful to still be able to walk, talk and be alive”.
“I will take my time and feel everything I need too, the truth is my new journey is going to be on a damn roller coaster of emotion but like I’ve always said, I’ve got a support crew that’s second to none, they been there before, during and will be there at the end when all is done.
“I know I’ll be ok.”
The Oceania Sevens, featuring men’s and women’s teams from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, begin this Friday before the Black Ferns Sevens and All Blacks Sevens name their Olympic squads on June 30.