First Maori Olympians remembered at ceremony

Uploaded by tekareremaorinews on 19.06.2012

Maori culture plays a major role in lifting up the Olympic team.
A night where Maori gifts for the NZ team to take to London
were formally acknowledged.
It was also a night to honour our first Maori Olympians.
It's not only Maori symbols that are seen proudly on the world stage,
but also great Maori athletes.
These are the families of our first two Maori Olympians -
Jack MacDonald and Lawrence Jackson.
They were a part of the men's eight rowing team
at the 1932 Games, held in Los Angeles.
Both men were honoured for their achievements.
We're very honoured and very proud to be here.
John MacDonald was the first known Maori flag-bearer in 1932,
and he also taught the haka to the team.
Now the haka is a firm part of the Olympic team;
so too is the wearing of the cloak, Mahutonga, and greenstone pendants.
Maori have a depth of belief
that can help lift every NZ athlete
to be great ambassadors for our country.
It was a night where Maori contributions were acknowledged.
The Olympic Committee also showing their appreciation for the culture.
The Olympic team's uniform will be unveiled soon,
but it'll be the day before the opening ceremony
when we find out who'll wear the cloak, Mahutonga.
Irena Smith, Te Karere.