Kiwis at home in athletes' village
Sat, 28 Jul 2012 11:12a.m.
There's something borrowed, something old, something new, but at the main reception of the New Zealand team's accommodation in the Olympic Village there's nothing blue - at least in terms of mood.
The borrowed item sits in glass case. It is the New Zealand flag flown at the last Games held in London in 1948.
It was "liberated" by cyclist Nick Carter and the story of how it came into his possession sits above it on the wall.
A massive chunk of greenstone, presented to the NZOC by Ngai Tahu in 2004, sits next to the reception desk. The mauri stone is a touchstone, which former Olympic boxer Trevor Shailer says it gives off good energy.
"You give it something, you rub it and it gives something back," the athlete support officer said.
And what part of a Kiwi outpost in the UK would be complete without coffee? The is a new machine to give the athletes their caffeine fix, but while there are plenty of makers, Shailer says getting the team to clean up after themselves is more tricky.
While cleaning up may be an issue the accommodation isn't with team boss Dave Currie saying it is the best he has seen in his time in the role.
Outside the common area there are bean bags for lounging and chilling, with a massive flatscreen television under a mini marquee.
Inside the entrance foyer messages of support from schoolchildren adorn the walls.
The village itself is vast, but has been designed with its life after the Games in mind when it will house 6000.
Accommodation blocks are similar but not the same, a clutch of administration buildings have been earmarked to become a school and the gym is designed in such a way that it too will have a life well after the Games have ended ensuring their legacy will live on.
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