On our CVs, under the heading of "Other interests", we get to include special achievements.
For us ordinary mortals they'll read something like this:
1994: Most Improved Player, South End Tiddlywinks Club.
2006: Winner, Special Plate, South Canterbury Petanque Mixed Pairs.
We start every word with a capital letter because this is important stuff. Just imagine then being able to write: 2012: New Zealand Olympian, London.
You'd want to put the whole lot in bold capitals. In colour.
Marc Ryan and Shane Archbold will forever be able to do that. Notable feats indeed. Not ordinary mortals.
Ryan will be able to add "bronze medallist, cycling team pursuit". In the line above he'll write: 2008: New Zealand Olympian, Beijing, bronze medallist, cycling team pursuit.
Archbold might rightly add: Seventh, omnium. Rode my guts out. Underneath he should leave a line for now, but it will likely start with: 2016: New Zealand Olympian, Rio de Janeiro.
Both boys - OK, men - have done their country and their district proud. We yelled at our TV screens as Ryan's pursuit team just held out the Russians to take bronze, and then groaned when Archbold punctured halfway through his individual pursuit.
But when others might have tossed their toys, Archbold calmly went to the warm-up area and refocused. It said a lot for the 23-year-old. As did his comments afterwards, saying while disappointed he knows he can do better. And neither did he blame the puncture, saying his efforts in the previous day's points race were what really made the difference.
So yes, he will have learnt a lot from this. But that is not to detract from his efforts. Seventh on any world stage is fantastic.
Making it to the world stage is fantastic. For them . . . and us.
So thanks guys for giving us something to cheer for, and very well done. Don't forget to update the CVs, and we'll see you when you get home.
Word is, there's going to be a bit of a parade.
Fancy a game of tiddlywinks afterwards?
- The Timaru Herald