Key Points:

Weightlifter Graham May, who won a gold medal in the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and has died, aged 55, is remembered for his huge comeback after collapsing on stage at the Games.

After passing out he won the gold with a combined weight of 342.5kg. May was part of the team that made the sport popular in New Zealanders following their success at the Games.

The Games, a book on New Zealanders at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games written by Ron Palenski and Terry Maddaford, said of weightlifting and May at the '74 Games: "Weightlifting had long been a foreign sport to the majority of New Zealanders. The Commonwealth Games changed all that. The Games in New Zealand gave the sport unprecedented exposure and New Zealanders loved it ... Some [of the crowd] almost became too closely involved when Graham May, the 21-year-old super-heavyweight New Zealander, on his way to his gold medal, passed out with sheer effort and 187.5kg of weights went lumbering off the front of the stage, towards the first row of seats and scattering mere mortals from its path."