A very accomplished winner of the gold medal for negativity hoped "Any gold medals won would not result in a rain-dance," an opinion stated out there in Blogland in a mean spirited comment. I won't deign to link to it.
It's far too sad that so many, including many inspired youth, could be found celebrating the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic victory in the ANZ netball. Also, the Prince of Gripewater will be hurumping and muttering a grumpy tirade when the Chiefs win tonight and similar hoards of inspired fans celebrate long and hard.
Rowing New Zealand has had in place a structure to enable our best to shine on the world stage for sometime and, so far, it has resulted in 3 gold medals and a Bronze at London 2012.
Similar focus saw the Equestrian team beat Australia, The US, Canada, Japan and such power houses from Europe as Denmark, Sweden, Austria, France, Belgium and The Netherlands to win Bronze in three-day eventing.
Ele at Homepaddock highlighted recently an alternative medal table based on a country's population when we had a solitary bronze and New Zealand ranked around 4th. I guess on that calculation we are now well out in front with three Golds and two Bronze awards.
Those who succeed in their chosen sporting fields represent all that is great about us as a nation. How many recall or have become aware that when the New Zealand Rowing eight at Munich in 1972 defeated very well endowed crews from state sponsered teams as in the two political duelling German states and the totally professional crew based on university funding from the US of America, so impressed was the ancient old man at the head of the IOC one Avery Brundage, he descended to the level of the common people to present their medals? Also, that was the first occasion God Defend New Zealand rang out as the NZ flag went to the top of the centre staff.
Just as in war, those who choose to snipe from concealment may bring an advantage to a fellow soldier on the ground but their mode of operation by its nature is largely reviled by any with a smigeon of chivilary in their soul.
I can often be cynical and negative about much of what the drones who inhabit the IOC do, as they trough and all too often ignore what the athletes who underpin their quadrennial trip to their rightful reward achieve, often in spite of stupid and often pointless interference. When, however, I consider the sacrifice, hard work and dedication that winners of any medal, let alone Gold, commit to their quest I am only in awe and of course, although a rain dance may be off the agenda. I will raise my glass in congratulation and will enjoy a swelling of my National Pride as our Flag is raised to the strains of God Defend NZ while a still exhausted drained modern day warrior absorbs something so very few of us will ever experience in their well deserved time on the dais. VICTORY!!!!
Their raw emotion portrays the myriad of joy, relief, satisfaction, gratitude, exhaustion, and the often unspoken thoughts of what all those who helped get them to that pinnacle are owed. At least there is no debt to the Prince of Gripewater.