Since Wednesday morning's Midweek Bulletin, Jonah Lomu has passed away and Richie McCaw has retired. Think about how many rugby players you know, how many kids you used to play rugby with back in the day screaming "Jonah! Jonah!" as you steamed down the footpath and then remember that Lomu and McCaw were two of the very best rugby players in the world.
Being an All Black is such an exclusive club because it means that you are among the 30-odd best rugby players in the best rugby playing country. Lomu and McCaw sit at the top of the pile and I'll leave it to ya'll at various pubs throughout Aotearoa to reminisce and debate who was the very best. Lomu and McCaw's rugby greatness in Aotearoa automatically puts them among the best rugby players to ever grace this planet.
Following the World Cup, there was an immense feeling of pride in my veins and I'm sure you felt the same thanks to every individual conducting themselves in a certain way. This culminated in an All Blacks team who oozed class and a lot of this was due to McCaw's influence. Now with the passing of Lomu, that same feeling of pride has come back.
We are a weird little country and I have my moments with Aotearoa when I just sigh - most recently in the cricket where kiwis spend far too much energy worrying about Australia and the actions of Australians, like Australians spend any time worrying about kiwis. Yet our little country has perfected the art of producing great human beings. Not just great sportsmen and women, but great humans.
Throughout the initial shock, grief and remembrance of Jonah's passing I have come to rest on the idea 'live like Jonah'. All the tributes and stories about Jonah the man, not only the rugby player highlights a man with a lovely nature and a generosity that changed lives; why wouldn't you want to live like Jonah?
There are many ills in this world as humans kill each other for no reason or display a level of greed that negatively impacts all of us. If we all at the very least tried to live a little like Jonah, then we should be on the right track.
The passing of Lomu and retirement of McCaw (along with others) signals the end of a rather broad era and we are lucky enough to have other athletes displaying the same character and personality that we love, while also being extremely good at their sport. To cap off a week in which we as kiwis have experienced a variety of emotions, Lydia Ko will be hunting the LPGA's top spot in Florida this weekend.
Ko is 0.9 points ahead Inbee Park for the no.1 spot on the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings and needs to beat Park by two shots to win the Vare Trophy for the best scoring average. Plus Ko is three points clear of Park in the Rolex Player of the Year standings, which Ko has said will be the most satisfying to win as all she wanted to do this season was to play more consistently.
Ko is still 18 years old, let's not forget that and she is competing this weekend to assert herself as the most dominant force in women's golf. It's Ko time.
Ooooh Steven Adams!
Never fear folks. As legends depart their sport and our world, Lydia Ko and Steven Adams continue to put Aotearoa on the map not only with their ability as athletes but also with the way the conduct themselves. The fact that they aren't rugby players shows a changing Aotearoa with more sports enjoying greater prominence and yet the values, ideals and humility that we love about the very best kiwis is now led by a new generation.
Remember Jonah, live like Jonah and celebrate those who live like Jonah at the highest sporting level. Kia kaha.