Fraser Walker-Pearce

April 12, 2018

Fraser Walker-Pearce (right) presents his column on the commonwealth games.

THE Commonwealth Games — what a competition.

It brings out the best in competitors across the globe (well, sort of), and the best in couch potato fans like myself.

Every time the Games are on, I find myself glued to the telly, cheering on underdog athletes from minnow countries that I would otherwise have no connection to, in sports they have made unlikely achievements in.

I love the passion on show 24/7 from every single athlete there. It’s inspiring.

And — as a Kiwi — I even caught myself cheering for the Aussies. And pay per view TV has still never looked a better option.

It is hard not to cheer the green and gold on, when at the time of writing, the Aussies have won no less than 40 gold medals, and are out in front on the medal tally by some distance.

In saying that, there is nothing I love more than my beloved Kiwis beating an Aussie to a gold medal.

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is a thing of beauty.

Like when Kiwi paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe stole the gold in the 100m breaststroke final right from under the nose of Paige Leonhardt and Madeline Scott, who settled for silver and bronze.

And it is moments like when the 166kg frame of David Liti blew a kiss to the judges and stole our hearts as he won the leviathan class in men’s weightlifting, that make me particularly proud to be a Kiwi.

Before leaving the stage after the national anthem, the New Zealander ended his night by helping the injured silver medallist, of Samoa, off the stage.

Taking our respective populations into account, and I am stoked with the way the Kiwis have performed.

And before you say it — and I know that it may be said anyway — I understand New Zealand did not win nearly as many medals as the team in green and gold has.

But as the population of Australia is around 24.7 million, I have to point out that 40 gold medals is comparative.

If New Zealand had as many people (we currently have about 4.7 million), we could expect around five times the medals we currently have.

That would put us level pegging with the Aussies, but with 12 more silver medals.

Which, in my eyes at least, is a moral victory.

Shame there are no medals for moral victories.

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