2022 Commonwealth Games Diary by Gary Francis "Gaz" - Fourth Edition
Commonwealth Games Diary
We have finally reached the stage of our European experience that climbers call ‘summiting’, I believe. Tomorrow is Day 1 of the Commonwealth Games and looking back over the past 54 days since the World Championship Team left New Zealand it certainly has felt at times like a Himalayan expedition. The key part is to make it to the top and the next six days will tell us a lot about both the individuals in our team and the team itself.
A few days ago I received an email from the Swimming New Zealand President, Jaynie Hudgell. She described her own journey at the Commonwealth Games, back in 1974 when against the odds she swam to Gold in the 800m Freestyle. It was a truly inspirational story and a perfect end to our preparation and start of ‘business’. Thank you Jaynie, the swimmers were really moved by your story and it gave them just the right lift and reminder that they need to relax and enjoy the moment, as well as ‘grasping it by the horns’ at the same time. I read them the email after we had waved the rest of the NZ team off to the Opening Ceremony. Swimmers never get to go to the Opening Ceremony because we are competing the following morning, so we thought we’d make the team feel as much a part of it as possible without exerting them. We dressed in our Opening Ceremony uniforms, joined the team at our NZ Hub building and walked the first 200m with them leaving them as we reached our accommodation. But we still had time for a team photo in uniform, which I’ve attached for everyone to see. I hope that the combination of the Ceremony uniform and Jaynie’s email has the desired effect!
Time to Go Racing
This evening (NZT) nearly the whole team races. The order of NZ events is as follows (Times are NZT):
Mya Rasmussen, 400IM 9:47pm
Eve Thomas, Erika Fairweather 200 Free 10:01pm
Sophie Pascoe, Tupou Neiufi, 100 free S9 10:17pm
Cameron Gray, 50 Butterfly 10:24pm
Andrew Jeffcoat, 100 Backstroke 10:49pm
Helena Gasson, Hazel Ouwehand 100 Butterfly 11:02pm
Jesse Reynolds and Joshua Wilmer are straight into the Men’s 100m backstroke S9 final which will be at 6:48am the next morning in NZ. We hope that they will be joined by most of their team mates who compete above!
Follow the Latest
Make sure you're following @swimming_nz on social media to keep to date with the latest athlete interviews, results and excitement from our Aquablacks team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.