Champions return from the golden games

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

THE dust has finally settled on the Commonwealth Games, and the Hunter’s athletes have removed their green and gold for more everyday attire.

But the achievement of having won gold will linger for many, with eight medals in that hue returning to the region among a total haul of 13 medals.

Kookaburra Matt Dawson, Opal Katie Ebzery, Boomer Damian Martin, lawn bowlers Aron Sheriff and Natasha Scott, shooter Dan Repacholi, long jumper Erin Cleaver, triathlete Lauren Parker, and Newcastle-born shot putter Cameron Crombie were among those to win hard-earned medals.

Discus thrower Benn Harradine, runner Celia Sullohern, swimmer Meg Bailey and weightlifter Pip Malone also did the region proud.

For some, the Gold Coast marked their exit from the national stage.

Green and gold veterans Fearnley and Harradinewill not compete for their nationagain, and few could argue they have not done enough to live long in the memories of sports fans.

They, and all our athletes, have set a high benchmark for those who follow.

Fearnley, who has been hailed in these pages for his work on the field, was by all accounts as instrumental behind the scenes in drawing together an event which will be remembered for its inclusivity.

That Fearnley was pleased enough with that achievement to put aside the outcry over the Closing Ceremony says much about the achievement, and the man who ultimately became the unofficial face of the games, as well as its heart and soul.

“If I can say anything to the next people coming up wearing the green and gold, when you get near a microphone, when you speak, err on the side of kindness, how about that? And if you can get here, bring your family with you, bring people with you because it makes it so much more worthwhile,” he said after his gold medal win.

Sidestepping or overcoming injury, their performances offergenuine inspiration as to the virtues of persistence, focus and commitment.They managed to wrest the attention of a nation towards sheer feats of strength for days at a time.

Critics will argue that it is only sport, and that we as a nation have greater priorities.

After these games, few could say standing together to watchwas not time well spent.Congratulations to all our athletes.

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