An open letter from Mike Stanley, President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee to Emirates Team New Zealand.
There is no doubt that Oracle wresting the America's Cup race by race from Team NZ will go down in our sporting history as one of the most absorbing contests ever, but it should also go down as one of our prouder moments.
On the water in San Francisco we were represented by a team that had not only given their all to win, but did so in a manner that has earned the respect of us all. In their darkest hour, they retained their dignity and self-respect and by doing so maintained the integrity of the event, of Oracle's miraculous win and of their own great challenge. In their composure they underlined how enriching it can be when passionate, highly skilled individuals united by a strong set of values come together to pit themselves against the best in the world. We saw a great NZ team in action, sure of themselves and their ability and utterly professional in their pursuit of excellence. They understood the magnitude of the challenge and the resources of the defender amassed against them, yet they backed themselves to win.
The bitter reality that they haven't must be numbing and will be for a long time, perhaps a life time. But they have provided us all a great lesson, that while sport is about the pursuit of winning, it is also about the nature and meaning of that pursuit and how you handle adversity and loss.
In Team NZ we have much to celebrate and as a reflection of us as a nation, much for us all to be proud of.
President, New Zealand Olympic Committee