Usain Bolt 'scared' by traditional Maori welcome
Mon, 08 Oct 2012 4:00p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Usain Bolt’s signature swagger was all but absent during his official Maori welcome in Auckland this afternoon.
It seems even the world’s fastest man gets intimidated at the sight of a traditional New Zealand haka and powhiri.
“They scared me a little bit,” he says. “That was scary but it was fun – looks like something that I would like to do... we'll see.”
The Jamaican sprinter has spent less than 12 hours in New Zealand on a Gatorade promotional tour, and more than 350 staff turned up for a glimpse of the fastest man on Earth.
"Everybody is here because of you,” says kaumatua Joe Tepania. “Nobody took a day off."
Nobody took a day off except the helicopter pilot supposed to ferry Bolt in. Low cloud forced the 26-year-old to come by car.
Tonight he helped launch a new Gatorade partnership with the New Zealand Breakers and run a coaching clinic for young New Zealand sprinters.
Athletics New Zealand chief executive Scott Newman says it’s a great opportunity for the country’s young sprinters.
“It's rare to have the chance to get close to such a world-class athlete, and all those involved will benefit greatly from the experience," says Mr Newman.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Bolt says he’s been “looking forward” to the trip but joked New Zealand hadn’t lived up to it’s reputation.
“It’s the country of the ‘long white cloud’, but it's raining outside,” he says.
Bolt set the world record for the 100m – 9.58s – three years ago. At this year's London Olympics, he did it in 9.63s.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
9/10/2012 11:02:12 a.m.
What an amazing feeling 1. being able to see him in the same room 2. an awesum way of welcoming a STAR guest to NZ, as he said this was the best and outstanding welcome he has ever seen, and is looking forward in returning again to NZ.so for those that think "Really" should we keep doing this? YES we should =) the boys did this haka justice we ALL should be so proud
9/10/2012 8:54:02 a.m.
Yeah Nic, 'hello' would be soooo much more exciting. Your statement 'how many other countries do this' is quite ironic, NO other countries do this, which is why it SHOULD be done. Maybe England in the 1950's is more your scene.
9/10/2012 1:39:47 a.m.
Whilst I understand what you're trying to say, I can't agree. How many other countries do this? Not many. Yes it's our "culture" but we don't need to shove it down the throat of anyone that comes to the country. I'm actually born and raised in England and one of the first things I picked up when I got here is the insane amounts of Maori pride, and how much it is around. Can't we just welcome them normally..?
9/10/2012 1:34:55 a.m.
If he was scared, why didn't he run off? Apparently, he's pretty fast
8/10/2012 9:11:54 p.m.
@NIC and DONOVAN - It might be old and awkward for yous, but as he says it's something new and vibrate for him and unlike yous and people that think like yous...he is respectful and appreciative of such a great gesture and to be part of a unique experience that most like you have never ever been a part of.
8/10/2012 7:46:10 p.m.
While you may see this a lot, most of the world has no idea of New Zealand and Maori Culture. This is not for you, it's for them, I think it's an amazing way to welcome someone into our country.
8/10/2012 5:59:10 p.m.
I would have said 'humbled' by the traditional Maori welcome.
8/10/2012 5:07:02 p.m.
Do we really have to do this every time someone famous comes here? They've probably just had a long flight and you blast them with a war dance. I'm sorry, but it just gets old.
8/10/2012 4:27:14 p.m.
That was the most awkward 4mins of my life
The Chiefs have beaten the Crusaders 28-19 in a tight affair...
Video highlights, live stream commentary, live updates as th...
While sports like rugby often struggle to keep their best pl...
While the Otago Highlanders are bottom of the Super Rugby ta...
An emotional Ali Williams has called full time on his All Bl...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.