The HSBC World Rugby Sevens might be the only occasion where stadiums around the world fill with raucous rows of Care Bears and Mounties, the Simpson family and striped Waldos. These spectators, costumed in the Rugby Sevens tradition of “fancy dress”, cheer on as international teams rack up points in 10 tournaments around the world, leading to an overall winner to be crowned at the final games in Paris this June. The fervour of these condensed matches is palpable, as teams reduced to seven players scurry and tumble across the field in time crunches of seven-minute halves.
It’s especially fitting, then, when TAG Heuer’s phrase “#DontCrackUnderPressure” flashed across the screens in Vancouver’s BC Place, host of the season’s sixth round. As the series’ official timekeeper, TAG Heuer continued its honour in Vancouver as the crowd welcomed brand ambassador, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (known for roles such as Thor and Formula One racer James Hunt), to lead the stadium in a countdown to the final match of the Canadian leg. On the turf, Fiji and Kenya took their places. Overhead, the jumbotron ticked down to zero. The pressure was on.
“One of the biggest issues I had when I first started acting was the pressure, the nervous energy,” Hemsworth said in a chat preceding his on-field duties. “I’d always try to remove it, or avoid it, which was virtually impossible.” Once he decided to face the feeling head-on, he harnessed it into motivation. “That nervous energy stimulates adrenaline and excitement in me now—and I do believe it allows you to react and think quicker.”
Owning that nervous energy is something every athlete must also overcome, with all eyes on them. The final game culminated in a thrilling victory for Fiji, with a standout performance from Alasio Sovita Naduva. In recognition of Naduva’s strength and agility, Hemsworth personally awarded the Fijian player with TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer watch.
An Aquaracer owner himself, Hemsworth finds the timepiece especially resilient during surfing excursions, and applauds the timepiece’s excellence under such physical conditions. “And these guys,” he said, gesturing towards the rugby pitch, “are about as physical as they come. This is the watch for them.”
Photos by Andrew Chin/Getty Images for TAG Heuer.
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