Inflatable boxing to welcome Olympians
Fancy a boxing match with the mayor?
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker hopes to take part in the "inflatable boxing" during the official welcome home to the Olympians next week.
He said as long as his "ancient frame" could handle it, then he would give some of the sports a go.
On August 24, more than 100 Kiwi Olympic competitors, including most of the 27 medal winners, will fly into Christchurch and then ride an open-top double decker bus to Hagley Park for a special homecoming.
Sadly, newly crowned Olympic shotput champion Valerie Adams will miss the event because she is competing in Europe.
Parker said hosting the event was a coup, after the devastating blow of losing the Rugby World Cup games last year.
"We are very proud to have been chosen to host the homecoming on behalf of all New Zealand, and we're looking forward to cheering for our heroes in person."
The selection recognised what Christchurch was up against: "It's an act of great generosity towards the people of this city."
Parker said the Olympians had all faced major challenges, but were disciplined enough to stay on course to achieve their goals and deliver medals for New Zealand.
Therefore it was "a wonderful metaphor" for what Christchurch was going through, he said.
"We are in the midst of the biggest challenge that we have ever faced . . . we have a lot to do to get there. We have to stay on the course . . . and we are going to deliver a wonderful city."
The team will arrive at Hagley Park at noon to the sounds of the New Zealand Army Band before a short ceremony.
The athletes will sign autographs, pose for photos and answer questions. Some will take on fans in hockey, volleyball, athletics and inflatable boxing. Others will visit fans at schools, hospitals, care facilities and businesses.
Last night, the Christchurch City Council was unable to confirm which athletes would be in Christchurch. If wet, the event will be at the Christchurch Netball Centre in Hagley Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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