By: Rikki Swannell | Tuesday, August 07, 2012
The highs and lows of the Olympics are immense.
If Valerie Adams had bounded over after her final with a beaming smile, happy with her lot then the story of her Olympic silver would be written much differently. The fact is she was disconsolate, bereft and showed pure raw emotion. When you arrive at an event as the defending champion, in great shape and finish second it’s very hard to say you’ve “won silver”. That may sound harsh, but the person who stood in front of the media after the shot put final did not look like she’d won a thing.
She has nothing to apologise for, as I have seen and heard so many British athletes do over the past 10 days. Valerie Adams is an outstanding representative of our country and carries herself with great dignity. Hopefully in days to come she will see and read the overwhelming number of supportive messages and see that she may not won gold, but she is still a champion.
Contrast that with the women’s hockey team who made history for their sport in reaching the semi-finals for the first time, and young sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke who are guaranteed a silver medal. My day started at the hockey and the infectious elation of the Black Sticks achievement, and ended at the athletics stadium, seeing the tears of Adams. Ecstasy and agony.
Meanwhile, we are rapidly spiralling towards the end. Each day the schedule gets thinner, the New Zealand involvement less and less, and yet there are still so many things to see and do.
Of all the Olympic experiences, I am yet to:
And finally, we know the Aussies have been battling, but are now likely to start easing ahead of us on the medal table. Those here that I have spoken to have been incredibly good natured – wanting to join us, congratulating us, while also lamenting what’s happened to them. I only hope New Zealanders can be so gracious.
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