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Banks: Speech Civic Luncheon 22 September 2004

Moving Auckland Forward

Hon John Banks QSO Mayor of Auckland City

22 September 2004

Civic luncheon for Hamish Carter Council Chamber, Auckland Town Hall Speech notes: Hon John Banks 12.55pm, 22 September 2004

Deputy Mayor, David Hay and councillors

Chief Executive, Bryan Taylor

Hamish on behalf of the City, I salute you.

We wanted to bring you into the Auckland Town Hall to put you and your success on a pedestal.

Your wife Marisa, family, friends, and fellow athletes can be very proud of you, as are we.

Last month at Athens – the home of the modern Olympic Games - you took away the gold medal for the men's triathlon.

It was a hot day, and by all accounts it was a tough course.

You decisively won the three-discipline event in 1 hour 51 minutes and 7.73 seconds.

Your team-mate Bevan Docherty won the silver 7.87 seconds behind, while the bronze went to the Swiss… Australia was fourth.

It was great to see New Zealand one and two on the podium.

It was at Atlanta in the three-day equestrian event when we last won two medals in the same Olympic event. I was there as Minister of Sport.

Another historic double was forty years ago, when middle distance runners Peter Snell and the late John Davies stood together, after Snell won the Tokyo Games 1500 metres with Davies taking bronze.

Hamish, your win and your team-mate’s silver go down in our history books.

We are so proud… and what a gutsy performance it was.

In the race, after the first discipline of swimming you were placed 33rd, you then went on to score the best result in the 40-km cycling, to enter the running phase placed third.

Ahead of 48 other triathletes, on the blue carpet, and heading for the finishing line you made it look all so easy.

You fought a hard fight with team mate Bevan Docherty. You wanted to beat each other more than anything.

You had worked your whole life for it… and it was the race of your life.

At the moment, Auckland City is doing all it can to secure a leg of the triathlon World Cup series in late 2005. I am going to take personal responsibility to ensure this happens.

Hamish, as a native Aucklander and a resident of Mt Eden, it has been a long and tough path for you and your family.

Over your 12-year triathlon career you have done your country proud at both world cup and world championship level.

Last month all your years of hunger, commitment, focus and hard work paid off.

Last month’s Olympic glory was your crowning glory.

We are proud of you as an athlete… and as an ambassador of our city and country.

Congratulations.

(Presentation of gift – Persian rug)

ENDS

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