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Kiwi Olympian’s grandson wins own Games experience


Kiwi Olympian’s grandson wins own Beijing 2008 Olympic Games experience

Auckland, New Zealand, 27 June 2008 – A Wellington man will realize his dream of witnessing first hand the Olympic Games, 80 years after his grandfather represented New Zealand in javelin, courtesy of Visa and Bank of New Zealand.

Mark Fairey won the trip to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in a Visa promotion run by online accounting firm Xero.

“My grandfather, Stan Lay, was an Olympic and Empire Games javelin thrower who competed at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam 80 years ago,” said Fairey, a customer of Xero. “To have won the opportunity to experience the Games myself – albeit as a spectator – is just incredible!”

From March through to May any customer that signed up to Xero and paid with their Visa card was automatically included in the draw to win an Olympic Games package for two.

The package courtesy of Visa, an official Worldwide Olympic Partner, includes: two return tickets to Beijing, accommodation for three nights, two tickets each to Olympic Games events, tours to the Great Wall of China and Forbidden City and lunch with Kiwi Olympic gold-medallist Hamish Carter.

When Carter retired from sport he joined Xero as a Relationship Manager. He has been a vocal champion of small businesses, which has resulted in a strong relationship between Xero, Bank of New Zealand and Visa. “Xero has some fantastic marketing partners, such as Visa and Bank of New Zealand, which are helping us solve the stress and pressure small business owners face. This prize from Visa is another way for us to acknowledge and reward our small business customers,” Carter said.

Carter will be in Beijing working with the New Zealand Olympic team to help athletes prepare mentally and physically to compete against the best in the world.


Stan Lay – sporting achievements

For 25 years, Stan Lay threw javelins further than anyone in New Zealand. Few people have managed to compete in the top echelon of their chosen sport for so long.

• Stan was the first New Zealand thrower to represent New Zealand at the Games in javelin, placing 7th at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928.

• In 1928, Stan also set a British record in London, with a throw of 222 feet 9 inches (67.89 metres). That was a world record, but was already bettered by the time officials went to register it. That British record stood for 29 years.

In 1929 he set a New Zealand and resident record with a throw of 206 feet 6 inches (62.94 metres). That record stood for 27 years.

Stan's 1930 gold-medal-winning throw of 207 feet 1.5 inches (63.13 metres) set an Empire/Commonwealth Games record. That mark stood for 24 years.

Other honours

Carried the New Zealand flag during the opening ceremony of the 1930 Empire Games in Canada.

At the opening ceremony of the 1950 Empire Games in Auckland, Stan took the Oath of Allegiance to amateur sport on behalf of all the competitors.

In 1978, Stan received a City of New Plymouth Citizens Award.

He was Taranaki Centre patron of the New Zealand Amateur Athletics Association (NZAAA).

Presented medals to the javelin place-getters at the 1986 Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh, Scotland.

He became a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1987.

Stan was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 2000, Stan was made the official spiritual guardian of the Olympic flame during its journey through New Zealand on its way to the Games in Sydney, Australia.

Stan was also a Taranaki Cricket Representative player from 1926 – 1931.

Information courtesy of Puke Ariki museum, Taranaki

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