Mystery Doc's Word
Well, that's it. Done and dusted, it all went by pretty swiftly didn't it! Jeepers.
Despite all our bling, and the rise of some athletes who look destined to have a good future ahead of them - boxer David Nyika being one of them ... I'm left with a kinda stink taste in my mouth. The Netball girls had to settle for silver which is always a shame, even worse when they're pretty underwhelming and to top if off they lost to Australia. Both hockey teams were disappointing which sucks, especially for the men's team who couldn't grab a medal.
Disappointing because they didn't do much more than choke against India and then suffered the shootout loss against rivals England. That kinda ends their international season which as readers of 'Following the Black Sticks lads' would know, promised so much. Shout out to Dean Couzins who has called time on his international hockey career as well!
However, that stink taste can be washed away with the sweet flavour of medals. Whether it's gold, silver or bronze, the Kiwis have had a hugely successful Glasgow Games. While performances in our team orientated events haven't really set the world a light, the way our track and field athletes performed was awesome. The same can be said for swimming, cycling, lawn balls anything and everything. On the whole, you can't be too critical.
One thing I would say is that somewhere along the production line there needs to be a more ruthless nature instilled in our athletes. The Kiwi battler tag is nice, but we need more athletes like Valerie Adams who simply won't accept anything less than being the best.
Now what? I guess the Premier League is close to kicking off. And the NRL and getting towards the business end. International rugby. NFL. OK, fine. But where am I gonna see Usain Bolt dancing to The Proclaimers? Exactly.
Glasgow 2014 was superb. I don’t know about the ‘best games ever’ tag – that just seems like standard internet exaggeration – but pretty damn good all the same. We’ve been treated to 12 days of fierce competition and pure athletic spirit amongst events that we hardly ever get to see and some that we see plenty of already. And to top it off we did great, winning 45 medals, a new NZ record for a Games held outside of these fine shores.
It was kinda a limp to the finish line though, given the failings of our netball and hockey teams, plus the promising squash team only getting one medal (Joelle King’s bronze). Thank God for Jack Bauer saving the day.
Still, when you put the whole thing in context we were outstanding. 14 golds when our previous two efforts have each yielded just 6. Find a fault in that, I dare you. There were a mix of old heads finding success (Valerie Adams, Nick Willis) and young guns making themselves household names with their exploits (David Nyika, Shane Archbold). I’d say we’re in a pretty good place. Time to start moaning about funding like we usually do now.
And how about this to finish up: Nick Willis storming home to take bronze in the 1500m. He wanted better, but anytime a runner can say they were only beaten by the Kenyans it’s a successful race.
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Jack Bauer – Nah, not Keifer Sutherland’s character from 24, but the kiwi road cyclist who ground out a very impressive silver medal in a well-stacked mens road race. He had some quality help from his compatriots, before launching the decisive break from the pack. This after just a few weeks ago coming within metres of becoming the first NZer to win a stage of the Tour De France.
David Nyika – Our first gold in boxing since 1990! He fought well, he’s just 18 (and is keen on hanging around for Rio 2016), and his raw emotion when he won was something else. Great to see that from athletes in a time when money means more than ever.
Richie Patterson – The bearded weightlifter was given the honour of carrying our flag at the closing ceremony after his gold medal. Well deserved. And it’s not like he was gonna have any worries lifting it either.
Silver Ferns – They got the medal their name suggests. Injuries were a problem all tournament, but on the day they simply got annihilated by a very strong Aussie team. Really disappointing to lose in that fashion but it’s not like they deserved it any more.
NZ Hockey – Arghh, it was looking so good! But the women fell in the semis, and despite a 2-0 start against India, so did the men. The ladies rallied to beat South Africa and take bronze, but the gents fell in a shootout to England to finish outside the medals. Not the haul we were hoping for. A massive shout-out to the legend that is Dean Couzins though. He announced his international retirement following the loss. 318 tests over 13 years. Incredible.