April 28, 2016
Olympic tohu for guide Amster
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has posthumously honoured Ngati Porou kaumatua Amster Reedy, who in the decade up to his death in 2014 had reshaped the way New Zealand athletes present themselves to the world.
Trevor Shailer, his former assistant and now deputy chief de mission for the Rio Games, says about 70 members of the Reedy whanau attended yesterday's presentation of the New Zealand Olympic Order.
Mr Reedy played a major role in developing the One Team, One Spirit approach first used at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, which aimed to place athletes first, instill pride in New Zealand, respect for others in the team and respect for the people of the host nation.
He also introduced the team to the idea of a mauri stone, giving each athlete a pounamu pendant, and for New Zealand's flag bearer to wear the korowai Te Mahutonga.
"It's not just the things he did. It was the way he did them. His ability to open the doorway, provide a pathway for people to feel proud about who they are and where they come from and to be able, if they might not have had a connection to things Maori, to be able to reach out and grab onto those things and to be proud of those things," Mr Shailer says.
He says Amster Reedy's understanding of tikanga Maori allowed him to overcome obstacles within the team without upsetting people.
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