Winning is never a certainty though and the Olympics are littered with tales of "what might have been" and Olympic favourites who didn't quite measure up for whatever reason.
Now I have no idea whether or not the pair decide to stay together for the 2020 games in Tokyo, although pundits are already saying we may have seen the last of this mercurial pair together in a rowing skiff. I guess they'll decide on their futures over the next few months or so, but regardless, it seems a good time to celebrate two men who epitomise everything that is good about sport and who have represented their country with honour, distinction and a hell of a lot of success.
They haven't won as many Olympic medals as a Michael Phelps and even in rowing, they're not as titled as say Sir Steven Redgrave, but what they have done is absolutely dominate a single event for a number of years.
Phenomenally, these two athletes have not been beaten in a rowing race since 2009. The Olympic final in Rio, was their 69th straight victory during that time.
They have won two Olympic Gold Medals, six World Championship Gold Medals and sixteen World Cup Gold Medals; just a staggering set of figures.
But, for all their successes on the water and as you can see, there have been many, there was always something else about these two that endeared them to the general public and not just the rowing fraternity. Yes, New Zealanders love winners, but they also want their athletic heroes to be "regular" guys and these two have always struck us general sports fans as being just that. Always full of the simple joy of their many victories and yet they invariably came across as just two humble, kiwis.
I have no idea what these two are like in real life, but that's irrelevant, what their demeanour and attitude towards themselves, their sport and their fellow competitors over the years has done for the New Zealand sporting public, is it has made us PROUD! Thanks for that guys.
"Go well Hamish Bond and Eric Murray! Thank you for the memories, thank you for the joy and thank you for making this small nation of New Zealand, proud as punch. You carried yourselves well and at the end of the day, you were 'good, kiwi, blokes' and what more can a country ask of its sportspeople?"
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CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME