When the Commonwealth Games were held in Auckland in 1990 I was chosen to carry the torch on a relay-run that went up the country. I was picked due to my involvement in rep hockey and for the 1km run along Napier’s Marine Parade I was flanked by two older chaps, local runners or sportspeople – I can’t remember. I held the actual torch – they carried placeholders, like a silver and bronze.
We were gifted branded clothing, hat, shirt, socks, shorts and a wrist-band. And we stood waiting – with nothing to say to each other – as the torch arrived, some other team of three had run it for a k’ and were to hand it over, along with the fake copies.
I got to jog a step ahead of the other two, out in front.
There’s a certificate in a photo album at mum and dad’s house. It’s printed on that cheap fax-paper. It looks more like an invoice. And in the shed, in a box, there’s a videotape
of the whole ordeal. My dad won’t part with it, despite no longer owning a VCR.
I told him, most recently, to dump it. We don’t need that – nor the hours of rep hockey
games (the practice runs that had got me to this dance). He snapped back that he was thinking of one day having them all digitised.
Gonna get them on a DVD.
Way to move with the times. How very 21st Century. But I secretly hope he does “get them digitised” – or at the very least that Commonwealth Games tape…You won’t see
my dad, but you’ll hear him, providing an unwanted, unavoidable soundtrack. He ran the whole thing, backwards the Ginger Rogers to our Fred Astaires. Slugging a giant camcorder over his shoulder, like roadkill to take home to his family; his trophy.
Huff. Puff. Huff. Puff. In. Out. Breathe and blow and sniff and snort.
What a bloody good sort eh. In jeans and jandals, no corporate branding. An agile wee fucker. He’s the one that deserves a medal.