Pontifex prepares to head to London
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 6:45p.m.
By Ross Karl
In his pursuit of his Olympic dream, Black-Sticks goalie Kyle Pontifex has seen a lot hockey balls fly at him over the last few months leading up to London.
He - like many other athletes - has had to also hold down a job and rely on the support, patience and understanding of loved ones.
His wife Michelle says they have savoured their time together this year because there has not been much of it.
“It's fairly tough. Kyle has been away for four months now from Wellington but that's a choice that we made a long time ago that I’d be based in Wellington and he'd be in Auckland,” she says.
Between tours and the Black Sticks being based in Auckland since April, the couple have been limited to a couple of weekends together. Kyle says it is strong motivation to perform.
“You carry that with you every time you go to play, that there's been a lot of work go into it and a lot of sacrifice and you want to make it worthwhile with strong performances,” he says.
It made returning from Malaysia in May with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup even sweeter.
Since then a three nil series loss to world number one Australia has taught the seventh ranked Black Sticks a few lessons.
But Kyle says they are determined a medal is possible in London.
“The rest of the teams of their day can knock each other over with fair consistency and in saying that it'll be great to see a few teams get up over Australia and Germany,” he says.
When not training, Pontifex works in IT, putting in thirty hours a week remotely.
With the Black Sticks leaving on Friday for an Olympic warm-up series in Belgium, there will be another six weeks before the Pontifex couple enjoy each other's company again.
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