Saturday, August 23, 2008
Tom is now the new chairman of the board - wins New Zealands third and final Olympic gold medal...
Tom Ashley from Auckland won New Zealand's third and final gold medal in the RS.X Board Sailing. Tom is also the reigning world champion for this event.
The Olympics are over for the NZ team who added the 4000m Cycling Team Pursuit bronze medal to their tally: 25 year old Lower Hutt born and raised Nick Willis, reigning Commonwealth Games Gold medalist for that distance, added the Olympic Gold medal for the distance with a withering late run; and Aucklander Brian Docherty added the Bronze for the Triathlon to the team tally as well.
There was every indication early in the week that New Zealand athletes would win a few more medals for their country, if not gold at least more silver and bronze. But it wasn't to be. There was some creditable performances, but many disappointing results. Results are important in the Olympic Games, not just the participation. New Zealand has finished somewhere about 20th in the list. Still very good for a small nation of 4 million people.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Would you believe this? A noise control officer was called out to a kindergarten disco in Auckland, New Zealand, recently.
He closed down the annual disco which had been running for one and a half hours of the planned two hour late afternoon session. Why?
A neighbour couldn't handle the loud rendition of "Bob the Builder", so he rang the local council's noise control officer, who arrived rather sheepishly at 6-13pm to inform the parent organisers that they had to close the kindergarten aged disco down immediately. A parent present claimed the music couldn't be heard two doors away. There are plans for another disco and "Bob the Buider" again next year.
You read about it here first!
Hear audio here
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Wait until your number is called, love! I really liked that one, friends...
One Friday night many years ago in a crowded downtown Wellington hotel bar, a very large, and florid faced man sat down beside me and started banging the bar with his fist.
A very busy and flustered barmaid with three pints of beer in each hand said she would be right back to serve him.
But the extremely impatient customer started banging the bar again with his fist for service.
Going to the cash register, the barmaid wrote the number 567 on a piece of paper and laid it in front of him. "Wait until I call your number, love!" she said to him.
Then turning to the bar she said," Now who has number one?"
I think that impatient customer learned a valuable lesson that night. And I had a most peaceful evening from then on.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
New Zealand has returned to the podium in the Olympic 1500 metres for the first time in 32 years with Lower Hutt born and raised Nick Willis collecting bronze. The legacy continues!
Nick Willis has joined Jack Lovelock, Peter Snell, John Davies, Rod Dixon and John Walker to have won medals in the event, running three minutes 34.16 for a bronze.
He says it feels great to live up to expectations and he owes a lot to the support of everyone who helped him to do it. His brother Steve had taken a year off work along with his family to help achieve the task as mentor, with University of Michigan coach Ron Warhurst. Steve says it was a big ask to win a medal but Nick has done it. Willis was near the rear but improved and ran on into third short of the line.
His bronze medal brought the NZ medal tally to eight. Two gold, one silver and five bronze.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
First pubished at Qassia:
Super Golden Saturday - New Zealand's greatest day in Olympic history...
Super Golden Saturday - New Zealand's most successful day in Olympic history...
New Zealand has won more than one gold medal in a day in an Olympic Games before - Peter Snell and Murray Halberg achieved this on the track in Rome within an hour in 1960, but have never won five medals in one day before.
New Zealand had five boats through to the finals in rowing:
Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell, the twin sisters, repeated their achievement in Athens four years ago by winning the gold medal for the women's double scull, by one 1/hundredth of a second, a sensational performance in getting up to win after their trials and tribulations of the last year or two, sickness, loss of form and failure in the world championships. We have a saying in New Zealand: The cream always rises to the top!
Hayden Roulston, almost an unknown before the games, rode off for first and second place in the men's Individual Pursuit track cycling at the Velodrome. He achieved silver against the seasoned world champion.
The valiant sick and dehydrated Mahe Drysdale, three times world champion struggled through to finals by the barest margin, swept through to the lead in the men's single scull, before collapsing - but managed third and the bronze medal. He needed medical and ambulance assistance, but still made it to the podium to receive his bronze medal. Not a winner, but a real champion to be proud of.
Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater, so brave and consistent through to the Men's Pairs rowing final and the bronze medal for third place.
And V stands for Victory and our VALERIE VILI, former youth, junior and world champion, and Commonwealth Games champion in the Women's Shot Put - Gold from her first throw in the finals. The rest of the field failed to reach her mark of 20.56 metres. All of her races were in excess of 20 metres.
Valerie made a victory lap round the stadium with a New Zealand flag draped around her shoulders, putting security into a mild panic. She wanted to honour those who supported her, her fellow New Zealand team members and other athletes. She is a new champion and super star in her specialist event - the Shot Put. The reigning Olympic Champion from Athens in 2004 could only manage second place and silver this time round.
Five medals in a day, and hopefully more to come. Some Kiwis were getting paranoid that NZ had not won any medals in the first six days, but our athletes have traditionally done better in the secon week of Olympic competitions.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Two days to the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing,China...
Our New Zealand athletes wait in positive anticipation. For a small country we do well on the international stage; we have a definate chance of winning and placing in a number of events. Three to four gold medals are a distinct possibility, with a number of silver or bronze also excellent prospects.
A big throw from our Valerie and some fast rowing from Mahe would consolidate their world championship form. If a number of others also compete at their WC form we can expect a successful Olympics. See you all on the rostrum!