Editorial: Plenty of pride after Games

By Kim Gillespie

The Bay of Plenty certainly lived up to its name as the London Olympic Games drew to a close.

Plenty of heart, plenty of pride and plenty of medals.

By the time the last note was played at yesterday's closing ceremony, competitors from our region had earned two gold medals, three silver medals and a bronze medal. Then late last night news one of those silvers was now a gold.

There's been plenty of talk during the Games of our little country punching above its weight, and we did do well, finishing 15th on the medal table. But with six of New Zealand's 13 medals, the Bay of Plenty certainly contributed more than its fair share and we can also stand tall with pride.

Yes, we'll concede that some of the athletes no longer live here, and that two of the medals were for team events, but let's not get too tangled in the detail. It's a great result for our little region.

We salute you Lisa Carrington, Mahe Drysdale, Sarah Walker, Valerie Adams, Peter Burling and Sam Bewley. Your success has provided hope and joy for thousands across the Bay of Plenty and more up and down the country.

Carrington wore a dazzling smile as she mounted the podium and received her gold medal on Saturday night. It mirrored Kiwi viewers' grins back home, and represented our satisfaction at an ultimately successful New Zealand campaign in London.

And let's not forget the commendable performances from our region's other competitors at the Games, including kayakers Mike Dawson and Luuka Jones and rower Julia Edward who reached the semifinals of their events, or triathlete Bevan Docherty and decathlete Brent Newdick who gave commendable performances. Whakatane mountainbiker Karen Hanlen, who has only been doing the sport for two years, finished 18th.

Where we didn't succeed, seeds were sown for a bright sporting future. Now it's up to those in power to ensure funding and efforts are directed where they need to be to build on our athletes' efforts in London.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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