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· Jafa
From Auckland, NZ
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Third NZer into NFL

St Andrew's old boy Ellison picked in NFL Draft

As a rugby player, Rhett Ellison says he was OK at best. He had the size but didn't really comprehend the game as well as he might have and drifted away from the sport.

Worry not, the now-23-year-old, who spent three years studying and playing rugby and cricket at Christchurch's St Andrew's College (1993-1995) has landed well and truly on his feet.

Ellison was this week picked up in the NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the third New Zealander to play in the competition.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/6857299/St-Andrews-old-boy-Ellison-picked-in-NFL-Draft

MATT RICHENS
© Fairfax NZ News
He was born in America and lives in America. Is he really a kiwi?
 

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Not really lived most of his life in America but has spent some of his younger lige in NZ. His father is half Maori i believe, related to Tamati Ellison. Riki Ellison won two superbowls and I think he thinks of himself as a NZer.
 

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Not really lived most of his life in America but has spent some of his younger lige in NZ. His father is half Maori i believe, related to Tamati Ellison. Riki Ellison won two superbowls and I think he thinks of himself as a NZer.
Riki Ellison was born in NZ, left when he was very young, had a stellar NFL career with the 49ers, then returned to live in NZ (and I assume still does) in the early 90s. The son in question was raised by his mother in the US.

I have a faint recollection of Riki Ellison trying out some NPC rugby (perhaps the old 2nd Division) when he returned to live, though not sure of that.
 

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Vote your official Uniform of NZ Team's Olympic Games 2012​
Guys, vote your favorite t-shirt. It's will be the uniform of the London 2012 Olympic NZ Team. However, I express my dismay. :eek:hno: We agree that in the final stage are only 10 t-shirts, but with over 2000 designs submitted, I believe that the judges could choose better. Voice your opinion I want to hear what you think.

link to vote here
 
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Best of the best Cricket Grounds ....

A team of journalists, photographers, broadcasters and fans decided the final order out of 26 venues offered, after a survey was run by the UK-based The Cricketer, previously known as The Wisden Cricketer. According to the article, Lord's was the unanimous choice for number one.

1 Lord's
2 Newlands, Cape Town
3 Adelaide Oval
4 Galle stadium, Sri Lanka
5 Trent Bridge, Nottingham
6 Sydney Cricket Ground
7 Melbourne Cricket Ground
8 St John's, Antigua
9 Kensington Oval, Bridgetown
10 Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand
11 Eden Gardens, Kolkata
12 Arnos Vale, St.Vincent
13 St.George's Park, Port Elizabeth
14 Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
15 Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand
16 New Wanderers, Johannesburg
17 Asgiriya, Kandy
18 M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
19 The Oval, Kennington
20 Harare Sports Club
21 University Oval, Dunedin, New Zealand
22 Bellerive Oval, Hobart
23 Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
24 Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
25 Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar
26 Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh
 

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They also named the 10 worst...

Worst test venues:
1. Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
2. The Gabba, Brisbane
3. Old Trafford, Manchester
4. Viv Richards Stadium, Antigua
5. Eden Park, Auckland
6. Punjab CA Stadium, Mohali
7. Sydney Cricket Ground
8. Dubai Sports City
9. Headingley, Leeds
10. Green Park, Kanpur

So how can the Sydney Cricket Ground rate the 6th best and 7th worst?
 

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On what basis did they rate their stadiums by?

Since they are mostly all media folk, I assume that they are rating them by media facilities rather than how good the playing pitch is which I'm sure would be a far better metric of how good a ground is IMHO

I wonder what the players think?
 

· Kiwi in London
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680 Posts
Agreed. What did they base this list on?

Lords is rubbish. Such a cold, windy, expensive and dull venue. Atmosphere is pretty shite. It's like Eden Park with its numerous different grandstands.

The Oval is much better. One of the best grounds around.

How is Seddon Park so high up the list :D And why are the Gabba and SCG are on the worst list? They look like great venues.
 

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Olympics: 2020 candidates cut to three​

Doha and Baku were eliminated from the race for the 2020 Olympics as the IOC trimmed the field of candidates from five cities to three. Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul made the cut as the International Olympic Committee executive board settled on a shortlist of finalists. Doha, capital of the Gulf state of Qatar, and Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, were rejected for a second time in a row after failing to make the final list for the 2016 Games.

Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul all former bidders now advance to the final phase, a 17-month race that will end with the IOC vote on Sept. 7, 2013, in Buenos Aires. Madrid is bidding for a third consecutive time, Tokyo a second time in a row and Istanbul a fifth time overall. Whether to keep all five candidates or pare the list to four or three was a tricky choice for the IOC at a time of global economic and political uncertainty. IOC officials said the decision involved a careful risk assessment.

The 15-member executive board, headed by IOC President Jacques Rogge, chose the finalists after examining a technical evaluation report compiled by a panel of Olympic experts. Baku was always the outsider, seen as lacking in experience in hosting international sports events. The main question involved whether to accept Doha, and the latest IOC rejection is sure to stir acrimony in Qatar.
Qatar is already hosting the 2022 World Cup, but faced questions over the heat, the timing and other issues for the Olympics. The IOC agreed to let Doha bid based on Qatar's proposal to hold the games from Oct. 2-18 to avoid the brutal summer heat, but officials remained concerned about the weather, conditions for athletes and potential conflicts with television and other sports events going on during that time of year.

IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said the October date was "not the only reason'' Doha was dropped from the race. The dynamics of the race changed dramatically when Rome, considered a potential 2020 favorite, pulled out of the bidding in February after the Italian government declined to provide financial guarantees at a time of economic austerity.

Madrid is bidding against the backdrop of Spain's financial crisis, something the IOC said it would take into account. Madrid bid leader Alejandro Blanco said the city would go the distance until the vote in Buenos Aires. He insisted the Spanish government fully backs the project and said the games would be a catalyst for economic recovery. Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, is bidding in the aftermath of last year's earthquake and tsunami disaster. The Istanbul bid had been knocked off course by Turkey's concurrent bid for football's 2020 European Championship. The IOC has made clear that Turkey cannot both hold both events, but Istanbul gained breathing room last week when UEFA extended the bidding process for the Euros and scheduled the final decision for early 2014. Istanbul leaders assured the IOC that the Olympic bid was the No. 1 priority of the Turkish government.
 

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^^
Here's how I see it... My rank
1 - ISTANBUL (good economy; first time that the city and the country, Turkey, hosting the games, is attempting the race since 2000, deserves the victory for their ongoing efforts in these years).
2 - TOKYO (good economy, but hosting the event in the past; lost che candidature in 2016, and have the big cost of construction of post-earthquake).
3 - MADRID (economic crisis, the country, Spain, has already the event with Barcelona, and lost many candidatures).
 

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· All over the place
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935 Posts
^^
Probably get some numbers in, even if just to see something different.

Plus - NZ Football...YAY :) !!!!

NZ 2 v. El Salvador 2 and NZ 1 v. Honduras 0 :cheers:

Should help with our unrealistically low FIFA ranking....
 

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Riki Ellison was born in NZ, left when he was very young, had a stellar NFL career with the 49ers, then returned to live in NZ (and I assume still does) in the early 90s. The son in question was raised by his mother in the US.

I have a faint recollection of Riki Ellison trying out some NPC rugby (perhaps the old 2nd Division) when he returned to live, though not sure of that.
I knew his sister and met his mum.. Id say you could safely call him a kiwi..
 

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NZ Olympic uniforms unveiled


New Zealand's Olympic team uniform has been unveiled for the London 2012 Games - officially. Today Fairfax Media revealed an embarrassing online gaffe, which prematurely showed the Olympic uniform on the Rodd & Gunn website - hours ahead of an evening cocktail function in Auckland involving Prime Minister John Key. The page, which featured New Zealand Olympic Committee chef de mission Dave Currie, was quickly taken down and a video interview with designer Irena Prikryl was also pulled in the afternoon.
Spokesperson for the NZOC, Ashley Abbott, said the page was viewed 17 times - while the web company who prepared the page had been testing it. "I'm absolutely not concerned. It's a lucky coincidence for a proud Kiwi buying our supporters' gear," Abbott said. Tonight the retro-look collection, which took 18 months to design and produce, was officially unveiled, inspired by the clothing worn by Kiwi athletes who attended the last London Olympiad in 1948.

Athletes past and present, including Mahe Drysdale and Sarah Ulmer, had a hand in designing both formal and casual items with the intention of recognising New Zealand's sporting past. But unlike 64 years ago when just seven Kiwi athletes travelled to the Olympics by boat, this time around 200 New Zealand competitors will get to don the prestigious threads.
The most obvious reference to the 1948 acknowledgement is white piping along the edges of blazers. The rest of the monochrome collection also shares a strong connection to the look and feel of the late 40's and early 1950's. A total of 20,000 items have been created for the New Zealand Olympic team which will include up to 200 athletes and 100 support staff.

The goal of the design team was to create a look that would tie into New Zealand's proud sporting and cultural heritage, while also meeting the challenge of creating a collection suitable for athletes of all ages and body types. For the first time the athlete uniform also features a t-shirt designed by a member of the New Zealand public. A national contest of over 3500 submissions challenged entries to reflect what it mean to be a proud New Zealander at the Olympic Games.
The contest was won by Gareth Gardner of Brooklyn, Wellington, whose design features an Olympic adaptation of the iconic hei tiki. The casual and training items also reflect inspiration from the 1948 team. A flash of "Pacific blue" has been incorporated into a traditional monochrome colour scheme, with the range also including jandals, rainwear, travel bags, sports shoes and hats as well as the official podium tracksuit.
 

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Ad deal poses threat to All Black brand​
To prevent the undermining of the All Black brand, the New Zealand Rugby Union has jealously guarded its trademarks and copyrights. It is all the more surprising, therefore, that it could be contemplating an advertising logo across the front of the All Black jersey. The suitor is reported to be insurance company AIG. The rugby union has not denied the suggestion, and says it is talking to several potential sponsors in the lead-up to the Rugby Championship.

Advertising on the All Black jersey would not be new. There was a discreet Steinlager logo in the mid-1990s. That was not well received by many fans. The name of an American insurer with a problematic profile emblazoned across the front of the playing strip would be many times more intrusive and would, therefore, create a far greater furore. The level of opposition should lead the rugby union to reconsider. So, too, should the prospect of damage to the All Black brand. A black jersey adorned only with a silver fern and the manufacturer's moniker makes a powerful statement. Not for nothing does it have a worldwide status akin to that of Italy's soccer shirt, a strip also noted for its commercial-free purity.

If the All Blacks went the way of the Wallabies, the Springboks and British rugby sides, it would only devalue that status. The All Blacks would become just another team, and any immediate financial gain would have to be balanced against the long-term implications of a serious diminishing of the brand.
 

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London 2012. We have the numbers - now we just need the medals​
It began before Christmas and ended last Monday, with the relevant number being 185. Now that the battle to win selection in New Zealand's Olympic team is over, it's about looking ahead to the 19 days of competition in London - including soccer matches, which begin before the opening ceremony on July 27 and a day of ranking for archers at Lord's cricket ground - which the whole show is about.

Some numbers. The 185 athletes form New Zealand's largest selected team for an Olympics. At Beijing four years ago, 182 were chosen, and three replacements added later. Time was when the entire Olympic team would be named on one day. It sounds odd now, but back then it was accompanied by a spot of pomp and drum rolling all round. Now sections are chosen and announced at a time more relevant to their qualifying periods. It also offers the chance for sports which might otherwise get buried under an avalanche of publicity for the higher-profile activities to have a brief opportunity in the spotlight.

New Zealand have athletes in 16 sports - allowing for two disciplines in equestrian, eventing and dressage, and four under the cycling umbrella, road, track, mountainbike and BMX. Soccer, to these eyes a marginal Olympic sport at best, has the largest contingent in terms of numbers, two squads of 18; hockey has 32, two groups of 16; while rowing, the strong tip to be New Zealand's most fruitful sport in London, has 26 on the waters of Dorney Lake in Eton. There is one first: women's boxing is making its Olympic bow and Indian-born flyweight Siona Fernandes and Alexis Pritchard, the Cape Town-born lightweight, will be donning the silver fern. Among the questions to be pondered before competition begins, is how many medals New Zealand will bring home? You won't get any official predictions on that.

Ever since the government funding agency, then called Sparc, came out with a seriously inflated figure, and fell well short, in Melbourne at the Commonwealth Games six years ago, you won't find anyone shouting out numbers. However, the New Zealand Olympic Committee has set its sights on 10. That would bring the New Zealand century of medals - including Annelise Coberger's Winter Games silver in the slalom at Albertville, France, in 1992. As an Olympics approaches, excitement grows. With that comes often outlandish talk on medal chances. Athletes who six months out might be rated a possibility to do well morph into having one foot on the podium.

This is not a line of thinking unique to New Zealand. Take the BBC, whose panel of Olympic experts came up with 95 British medals to be won at "their" Games. That includes 27 gold, and is about double what their own sports funding organisation, people whose business it is to know these things, believes can be won. History can teach us about keeping feet planted on such matters. At Beijing four years ago New Zealand won nine medals; four years earlier in Athens it was five, one more than Sydney in 2000. You need to go back to Barcelona in 1992 for the last time New Zealand reached double figures, with 10. So it's do-able, if far from a given. And it'll be fun watching them try.
 

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NZ: Country Profile, Highlights
From website of Olympic Games London 2012​

New Zealand's gold medal wins in Beijing reflected their most successful Olympic sports.

Twins Caroline and Georgina EVERS-SWINDELL won gold for New Zealand in women's double sculls at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Valerie ADAMS (former known as VILI) won the women's shot and windsurfer Tom ASHLEY also won gold.

New Zealand's other great successes have come in equestrian. New Zealand first appeared at the Olympic Games in London in 1908 and Stockholm 1912 as part of a combined team with Australia styled as Australasia.

Their first individual medallist was Harry KERR, who took bronze in the men's 3500m walk in 1908.

They were represented as a separate nation in 1920 and have excelled in athletics, rowing and equestrian events.

Boxer Ted MORGAN was their first individual champion when he won welterweight gold in Amsterdam in 1928.

They have a particularly fine tradition in middle distance athletics. Jack LOVELOCK won the men's 1500m at the Berlin 1936 Games.

Murray HALBERG won 5,000m gold at the Rome 1960 Games. Peter SNELL won the 800m in 1960 and the 800m/1500m double in Tokyo in 1964.

John WALKER won gold in Montreal in 1976 over 1500m. New Zealand's strong rowing tradition was started in 1920 when Darcy HADFIELD claimed their first medal, a single sculls bronze in 1920.

Simon DICKIE won two gold medals: in Mexico City in 1968 with the men's coxed four, and with the eight in Munich in 1972. He grabbed another bronze with the eight in 1976.

Mark TODD won the individual three-day event title in 1984 and 1988. He competed in five Olympic Games in all and collected a further silver and two bronze medals.

Blyth TAIT continued the tradition with eventing gold in 1996. He also earned a silver and two bronze medals.

Windsurfer Barbara KENDALL is the only New Zealand woman to compete at five Olympic Games, from 1992 to 2008.

She won gold in her first Games and followed up with a silver and a bronze. Her brother Bruce was 1988 Olympic champion in windsurfing.

Anthem: Title
God Defend New Zealand. This anthem and the national anthem of the United Kingdom were given equal status in 1977.

Anthem: Year of Induction
1940

Anthem: Composer
Music John Joseph WOODS. English words Thomas BRACKEN, Maori words Thomas Henry SMITH.

Official NOC/NPC name
New Zealand

IOC recognition date
1919

NOC/NPC President's name
Mr Mike STANLEY

NOC/NPC General Secretary's name
Ms Kereyn SMITH

IOC Member's Name
Mr Barry MAISTER ONZM, Mrs Barbara KENDALL MBE, Sir Tennant Edward (Tay) WILSON KNZM, OBE (Honorary)

Year of first appearance in an Olympic and Paralympic Games
1908

Number of appearances in Olympic and Paralympic Games
24, including London 2012

Total medals from 1920 to 2008
* Gold = 36
* Silver = 16
* Bronze = 34
* TOTAL = 86
 
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Olympic fan zones for city centre

Olympic fan zones fitted with big screens and bean bags are opening in central Auckland and hope to emulate some of the successes of their Rugby World Cup equivalents. With just one day to go until the London Olympics, a new party central is set to launch for the opening ceremony. The Cloud on Queens Wharf will open for one day on Saturday for sports fans to watch the opening ceremony from 7.30am to 11am. Triathlete Hamish Carter will also be on hand to speak about winning his Olympic gold medal in 2004. Another fan zone, located inside the Atrium on Takutai Square, will provide Olympic coverage across seven separate screens 24/7 throughout the games with a genuine Olympic flame-bearing torch being flown in to the zone once the Games are underway.

Coverage is also being beamed on to the side of Stanbeth House, in Britomart during the evenings, including a 'Gold Moments' presentation featuring John Walker's epic 1976 Olympic triumph in Montreal. Rugby World Cup fan zones proved a huge success with tens of thousands of rugby fans flocking to the city centre, however, the Cloud will only be operating for the opening ceremony of the Olympics and alcohol will not be served. Olympic sponsor Samsung is backing the fan zones. NZ sales director Jon Barrell said they wanted to provide a place for people to watch the action together. "The Olympics are the pinnacle of sporting achievement and we are bringing them to life for everyone here who wants to see them."
 
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Major sporting events key to attracting investment

New Zealand business leaders see major sporting events as an integral means of attracting investment to the country, according to new research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR). A convincing 74% of Kiwi businesses surveyed point to sporting events as a vehicle to lure investment here – 46% said it was important, 28% said it was very important. Profiling the country through television audiences and visitors from overseas for a major sporting event provides the opportunity and exposure for investment. Tim Keenan, national director of privately held business at Grant Thornton New Zealand, said the research could vindicate the idea of New Zealand hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with a rebuilt Christchurch city hosting the opening and closing events.

“A big part of winning the race to host big international sporting events is convincing the public and businesses that the economic benefits will outweigh the obvious hosting costs – the infrastructural investment and benefits to the Christchurch rebuild are infinitely clear. “Obviously one of the major reasons New Zealand businesses are so bullish is that they’ve experienced the benefits of big sporting events first hand when we hosted the successful Rugby World Cup 2011 last year.” Keenan said it was well known that a home advantage could improve the medal haul from major sporting competitions but the IBR research shows that an additional spinoff would be the attraction of overseas investment in businesses creating export opportunities to new markets. “Holding a major sporting event gives the host country a global shop window, allowing it to present and market what it has to offer to a massive worldwide audience. These major events provide significant opportunity for global corporates to host their clients and their key employees and with this comes the opportunity for the local economy to profile their wares.”

In 2015 New Zealand jointly hosts the ICC Cricket World Cup with Australia, providing a similar opportunity (on a smaller scale) to that of the Rugby World Cup. The IBR research indicates a willingness from New Zealand’s business community to take full advantage of the opportunity to showcase its innovation and products to the world. Keenan said the key to harnessing this opportunity is the interaction and collaboration between the business community and tournament organisers. Martin Snedden, chief executive of the Tourism Industry Association NZ and CEO of the Rugby World Cup 2011, agreed that major sporting events could be a key incentive for investment in countries such as New Zealand. “Our research indicates that there were hundreds of opportunities created by and for businesses throughout New Zealand, opportunities that were fuelled by the platform provided by the hosting of the Rugby World Cup.”

“As a country, we need to selectively pursue hosting major sporting events to help keep us top of mind on international markets,” Snedden said. The research also indicates that business leaders in those economies which have recently held, or are soon to hold, major sporting events are more bullish about the investment they bring (the exception is China, where the legacy of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing remains unclear). Business leaders in Brazil – which is gearing up to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games – show the greatest faith in sport’s ability to deliver investment (83%). Business leaders in Poland (82%) – host of this year’s European Championships – and South Africa (78%) – FIFA World Cup 2010 are also positive in this regard. The findings signal that more established economies, international sporting competitions are still a great opportunity, but appear to be just one element of a much bigger offensive to attract investment.

Meanwhile, New Zealand businesses appear to have a generous attitude to their employees during the Olympics, which start in London tomorrow (July 27). Sixty four per cent say they will either allow staff to view the Olympics on line or are providing them with extra time to either attend or watch the Games, while 24% are providing television coverage in the workplace. Slightly more than half the respondent businesses were involved in some facet of sport – including corporate hospitality, sponsorship, and team building. The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of over 12,000 businesses per year across 40 economies. This unique survey draws upon 20 years of trend data for most European participants and 10 years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: www.internationalbusinessreport.com.
 
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