Eating habits of a Commonwealth spectator

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014

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OPINION: The Commonwealth Games are past the halfway mark and so far it has been a successful campaign for the New Zealand team in Glasgow.

Judo and track cycling have exceeded expectations, although gold has been harder to come by at the pool and the athletics track.

The margin between success and failure is so fine.

When Richie Patterson strode out to the weightlifting platform for his final lift in the 85kg men's competition he was either going to win a gold medal or fail to win a place.

It would have been devastating for the Auckland gym owner, who was so disappointed with his silver medal in Delhi four years ago that he quit competition for six months.

His second attempt in the clean and jerk was ruled out by the judges, but on another day it could have been called good.

Then on his winning lift he started to stumble back towards the edge of the platform, his balance tipping dangerously backwards.

It was a weight he routinely lifts in training, but the pressure of performing as the number one ranked lifter in the Commonwealth was weighing heavier than the bar.

Thankfully for Patterson and his small band of noisy supporters at the Clyde Auditorium, also known as the Armadillo because of its peculiar design, he was able to hang on. Now he can look forward to marrying his training partner and team-mate in the New Zealand weightlifting team Phillipa Hale in Glasgow this week.

Patterson joked that one of the reasons the couple had decided to get married in Glasgow was because as gym owners they would have felt obliged to invite all their members if they had done it back in New Zealand.

On another weighty issue, it's become apparent that not all haggis balls in Glasgow are created equal.

The opening of the main media centre at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre featured some lovely local food, including crumbed haggis balls.

They were a far cry from the deep fried monstrosities available outside the velodrome, with chips, for five quid.

Two other local delicacies, deep fried Mars bars and chicken tikka masala, are yet to be experimented with, but there has been a bit of Irn Bru being consumed - there's little choice because it's really all that's on offer.

Pronounced something like "iron brew", the soft drink is a curious mix somewhere between creaming soda and Fanta and it seems like every second person you see has a bottle in their hand.

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- The Southland Times

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