Flashback to 1984's Olympics disappointment
In the Olympics, few things are sure - except some upsets along the way.
But the New Zealand rowing eight, going into the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics already double world champions seemed (if such a thing could exist at this level) a sure thing for gold.
A medal at least.
They were the Games Carl Lewis competed in his first Olympics, winning four gold medals; hot favourite US runner Mary Decker was infamously entangled with runner Zola Budd in the 3000m final; and New Zealand came home with eight golds - more gold than any other Olympics before or since.
But none of those were around the necks of the hot-favourite New Zealand rowing eight.
Dave Rodger, now running the GPO Bar and Brasserie in Cambridge, was a member of the eight. He remembers the expectations well.
''When you are two-time world champions, certainly as far as New Zealand was concerned, we were going to be Olympic champions.''
Even in heats - up against the eventual winners, Canada - New Zealand was showing champion form.
The New Zealand eight - Nigel Atherfold, Roger White-Parsons, George Keys, Greg Johnston, Chris White, Andrew Stevenson, Mike Stanley, Rodger, and cox Andrew Hay - went into the finals with a ''false sense of security''.
With the race underway on Lake Casitas and falling from New Zealand's grip, Rodger remembers looking over at the competition.
''The thought that went through my mind was, if we are going to win we are going to have to go very hard and fast as we possibly can.''
It wasn't to be, with Canada taking the gold, United States silver, and Australia - albeit by a hair's breath - bronze.
New Zealand was fourth.
''Eight bewildered,'' The Dominion headline the next morning read, '' Where did we go wrong?''
A top result in terms of normal sporting achievements, the paper said, ''but the eight was meant to win, that was the expectation''.
Legendary sports journalist Alex Veysey, described the eight ''slumped in depression after their defeat as favourites''.
On the New Zealand boat, Rodger said there were feelings of emptiness, dissatisfaction, and some envy. He cried with a feeling of failure when he next saw his parents.
''The only thing that softened it was it was in the first week so we had a whole week to party afterwards.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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