Sporting success in perspective

By Roger Childs

Nico and Zoi: worthy third place-getters (Credit stuff)

We do have a reputation for being a country that’s sporting mad.

However, I have friends who, despite my best efforts, don’t know who is playing in up-coming cricket and rugby tests.

But at times the media seems to go crazy over meritorious, but by world standards, minor successes.

The bronze medals won by the 16 years old Kiwis in the Winter Olympics are great personal achievements, but they were not gold or silver.

Over the top

Well done to Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous for coming third, but I’m sure they are embarrassed by the media hyperbole. Do we really have a new Snow Prince and Princess, to quote one of many examples of the purple prose?

We have a habit of getting carried away when we have minor success in sports we are usually not very good at. We have only ever won just a silver in previous Winter Olympics, and our two medals in PyeongChang pale in comparison with similar-sized Norway, which has 35 and climbing.

Probably our worst getting carried away moment was the 2010 FIFA World Cup. New Zealand qualified for only the second time. The country went crazy, but we didn’t win a match. However this didn’t stop The Halberg Award judges making the All Whites Sportsmen of the Year.

So let’s keep a perspective by acknowledging the impressive success of Zoi and Nico on the world stage, but not put them on a pedestal. They were actually on the lower part of the podium.






Great brave comments by KIN. I started to read the article in one paper thinking that we must have a double gold! The same article likened the event to Snell & Halberg’s double. Very delusional reporting… as you say also somewhat embarrassing to the two young folks. KIN has the correct perspective as usual.