Todd hopes medal inspires more success
It took four days but Mark Todd firmly believes an equestrian bronze medal-winning performance here in London will inspire more Kiwi Olympic success.
The sporting elder statesman teamed-up with Andrew Nicholson, Jonelle Richards, Jonathan Paget and Caroline Powell to claim New Zealand's first podium finish of the Games.
It was Todd's fifth Olympic medal and his third bronze to go with two golds.
While disappointed he could not emulate his golden deeds of '84 and '88, the amazing Mr Todd was rapt with the result and was hopeful his Olympic colleagues - most of them half his age - would bring home the bacon in rowing and track cycling, now New Zealand's next best medal chances .
"I think it is important early in the piece that we have kicked off and won a medal," he said.
"Hopefully it can inspire the others to really get in there and perform and I know this won't be the only medals we win."
Few were brave enough to predict Todd, 56, would add to his sporting resume here in London.
Despite his, and Nicholson's pedigree, the Germans, Great Britain and Sweden occupied the medal spots at the start of day three.
However, earlier this morning the Swedes crumbled, and the Kiwis barged through to take bronze leaving all at Greenwich to ponder: how does he do it? How does the 56-year-old, 28 years after winning gold in Los Angles, remain a force in high performance sport?
It seems not even those closest to Todd are sure.
None of his immediate family came to the Games; the thinking being he would not figure in the medal hunt.
But somehow the champion horseman cajoled the most inexperienced mount in the field to a medal despite Campino noticeably tiring in the individual show jumping round.
"What this horse has done has to be put in context," he explained.
"He would be most inexperienced horse here at the competition. Less than 12 months ago he was in his first advanced competition. I jammed a lot of mileage in to him last year and he has stepped up and stepped up."
- © Fairfax NZ News