Rather than writing a bitchy gloomy political post today I thought I would do a run down on the Olympic moments that mattered to me the most.
For the last 16 days, despite the controversies swirling around Rio de Janeiro, we have seen some fantastic sporting achievements. Whether it was Michael Phelps getting that huge medal haul in the pool or the amazing Usain Bolt and his athletic brilliance, Fiji getting its first ever Olympic medal and managing to make it a gold or watching our own Olympians it is has been an absolute pleasure on the eyes and ears. There were the funny and bizarre moments like the Mongolian wrestler who started celebrating early, and in doing so backed away from his opponent. Somehow through the language barrier or interpretation of the rules, the message to the wrestler did not get through and he ended up losing. What happened next was even more bizarre: his coach, absolutely furious with the officials stripped down to his jockeys and shoes in front of millions of viewers. There were moments where the Olympic spirit came to the fore, and no more so than when New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino collided in the womens 5,000 metre heat that they were competing in. It could have been ugly, but instead they helped each other to their feet and kept on going, drawing the respect of officials, competitors, the media and viewers alike.
But it was another New Zealander at the end of the day who got my attention the most. It wasn’t because she won gold, or broke a world record. Eliza Mcartney is in the photo essay because have I seen such humility, grace and joy rolled into a medallist like it was McCartney after she won the bronze medal in the womens pole vault.